The promises of the Kingdom

a Russian Orthodox icon of St Matthew the Evangelist

a Russian Orthodox icon of St Matthew the Evangelist

St. Matthew (“Levi” in the Gospels of Mark and Luke) is one of the twelve who were chosen by Jesus to be his companions, and who formed the nucleus of the early Church. The son of Alpheus, Matthew was working in Capernaum as a tax collector (“publican” in older Bibles) when he was called to follow Jesus.

His witness after the birth of the church at Pentecost was at first confined to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life, or how he died, but there are traditions that link his work to Ethiopia, Parthia and Persia.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely-felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in whom all the promises of the Messianic Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a physical sense: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of St John the Baptist, “Are you he Who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (adapted from this link)

We welcome you to join us as we listen to what our Lord has to say to us through ministry and sacrament as we worship together.