This past April 16, was Easter Sunday, a true celebration of the eternal Gift. We live with the Holy Spirit in us, those words are a true understatement to the power of God in this time. Thinking about the story of the Gospel I took a longer look at Matthew chapter 26. I am reminded of a different story I read once about Matthew and Jesus. You see, Matthew or ‘Levi’ was a tax collector during this time, and Jesus saw him sitting at his tax booth, went to Matthew and said, “Follow me,” and he did. Being a tax collector, Matthew was a social outcast, someone who was hated by everyone, and still Jesus called out to him.

The story written in chapter 26 of Matthew is interesting. He writes the story of Jesus being betrayed by Judas, “Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them,” v.48. Matthew writes Judas as the betrayer. Are we not fortunate that God does not see us the way others do? Jesus replies to Judas’ betrayal with, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Jesus embraces him, calls him friend!! WHY!? is man just betrayed the Savior of the world and he still chooses to show him grace!?

The labels that the world gives us, whether good or bad, Jesus does not see. He sees a friend, someone He loves, someone He wants to rescue. We live now, in a time where we can see people around us through the labels others have given them or even ourselves have given them or we can choose to see the hurt in their lives, the struggle in their heart and know that God wants to embrace them and call them away from that hurt.

May we live like Jesus lived, quick to call someone friend and slow to judge.