Who are you?
Matthew 10:2-4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.
Who am I? I'm a wife, a mother, a mental health therapist, a computer analyst, and probably a whole lot more if I gave it more thought. And of course, I am first and foremost a child of the living God.
Who was Matthew? He was an apostle and a tax collector.
Now by all accounts, the Gospel of Matthew was written in about AD 63. That would be thirty years after Jesus' death and resurrection. Thirty years. And thirty-three years since Jesus called Matthew to follow Him, right?
So I have a question. Why, after over three decades, does Matthew still see himself as a "tax collector?" Why not even "former tax collector?" Nope. "..the tax collector."
You don't see "Peter the fisherman" in the above verses, and we don't have a clue what the others did. Even Simon the Zealot is actually "Simon the Canannaean" in the Greek. There's not another job description in the list. But Matthew, writing about himself, still sees himself as a tax collector. An apostle, yes. But in his eyes, you don't know who he is if you don't know him as a tax collector. Why is that?
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Do we do that? Do you do that? Who are you? You're a child of the living God. You're a child, lover, friend, bondslave of Christ. But who else are you?
Are you a drug addict? Are you a prostitute? Are you a murderer? Liar? Thief? How about a divorcee'? Maybe you're a 'good person' who's sins of the past are a little less socially unacceptable. How do you still see yourself? What does your left-over guilt say to you about who you are? Now how does Jesus see you?
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
I'll tell you who you are. You're a child, lover, friend, bondslave of Christ. You are the light and salt of the earth. You are an ambassador for Christ. The old things have passed away. You're a new creature in Christ. Let the old labels and ways of seeing yourself go. Leave them at the cross. They're burdens that Christ took away from you and wants you to leave with Him. Stop taking them back. When you write your name down as a disciple of Christ, don't include the descriptions from the past. Let them go. Give them to Him. Let Jesus deliver you from your past once and for all. That's why He died.
Be a child of the living God with pride (1 Cor 1:31). Be a prince or princess in the Kingdom of God. Take off the Scarlett "D" or "A" or whatever letter you wear on your chest. Burn it. Throw it away. Give it to Him and let the love and light of Christ shine in your heart.
Be delivered. Finally.