“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Matthew 9: 9-13 (NRSV)
The disciples Matthew and James, son of Alphaeus are unlikely characters. Matthew, a despised tax collector for the Roman Government, profited from the excessive taxes imposed upon the Jews. Yet, when Jesus called him into ministry, he responded quickly. The scriptures do not reveal how Jesus called James, son of Alphaeus, also known as James the Less(er) or James the Younger. Although his name appears in the scriptural listing of Jesus’ disciples, not much is known about him. Yet, this obscure man, earned a place in Christian history.
“No matter how we try, we will not be able to say with Jesus ‘Not my will, but Thine, be done’ until we are able to believe that God’s will for us is good. We may speak the words, but we can only realize the prayer when we are joyously, enthusiastically in favor of having God’s good plan made manifest in our lives.”
– Winifred W. Hausmann