Going through online news this afternoon I saw this captivating headline:
Don’t Call Me Matthew Again If You Don’t Want To See My Red Eyes – Obasanjo
It should be noted that He has the right to change of name.
But for the sake of others bearing that name,it will be good I humbly put the records straight here.This is not a reply to the former President but an eye opener to those that may not know what to do with their name after reading the headline.
1)Mattityahu is the Hebrew translation of Matthew.
2)Mattityahu(Matthew) means ‘gift of God'(Yahweh).It does not mean ‘tax collector’.
3)Apostle Matthew was not the first person to bear that name,and he wouldn’t be the last!The name ‘Matthew’ came into existence after the Jews came out of Exile.
4)Matthew in Yoruba is ‘Ebun Oluwa'(gift of God).So it has a good meaning even in Yoruba language.
5)Apostle Matthew only stuck to the name Matthew after he became a disciple of Christ.Read the way he wrote how he became Jesus disciple here:” As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9. Other writers of the Synoptic gospels called him Levi:”As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.”Mark 2:14
6)His other name was Levi(meaning ‘joined/adhesion)
7)He was a publican and a tax collector before he became Jesus’ disciple.Matthew had a bad past! He used to be a dishonest tax collector! Study shows that Matthew would have paid all the taxes in advance to the Roman empire then collected the taxes from the citizens and travelers to reimburse himself! But when he met Jesus he forsook
8)Matthew was one of the(if not the only) disciples that celebrated his discipleship by throwing a party.The party eventually became a crusade ground:“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”-Luke 5:27-32.
9)Matthew used his influence as a former tax collector and a publican to evangelise.What about you today?Are you using the platform you have to propagate the gospel?
Are you bearing Matthew or your son is bearing Matthew? Your name means ‘gift of God’.
But what is even wrong in being called a tax/revenue collector? You can be a tax collector and do your work without compromise.You can be a policeman,a politician,a cleaner etc without soiling your hand.The profession may be seen as ‘dirty’ and corrupt but you can stand out!
Jesus said he came because of the tax-collectors not the Pharisees with their self righteousness! He died because of the sinners and the sick!
Remain blessed and rapturable.