The Christ

conflict resolver

 

 

]ill Gooding

 

 

“The constitution of the twelve [apostles] presents us with a situation

n which is nothing less than a miracle in personal relationships.

 Within that society there was Matthew the tax collector

 and Simon the Zealot

 —Matthew who had accepted the political situation,

 and who was profitably engaged in help to administer it,

 and Simon who would have assassinated any Roman

 whom he could reach and would have plunged a dagger

 into any Jew who dared to co-operate with the Romans.

The plain truth is that, if Simon had met Matthew under

 any other circumstances, he would have murdered him. . . .

 Here is one of the greatest of all examples

 of personal enmity destroyed by common love of Christ. “*

 

So, here is a great truth:

 

 

A man whose reason makes him hate

 And want to kill another,

 In presence of the Christ can yield

 And learn to love his brother.

 

Religion oft divides us

 And backgrounds make us fight;

 But living with Christ, Truth, in thought

 Bathes all in love and light.

 

May each one have this feeling

 Of the Christly presence here,

 And thus reveal true brotherhood

 To all both far and near.

 

“Matthews” and “Simons,” whatever your quarrels,

 The presence of God is at hand;

 A chorus of angels proclaiming Christ’s love

 Brings “peace on earth” to all lands.

 

*William Barclay, The Master’s Men

(Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1959), pp. 96-97