"The constitution of the twelve [apostles] presents us with a situation 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." William Barclay, The Master's Men (Nashville, Tenn.:Abingdon Press, 1959), pp. 96-97 .
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.
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