Reviewed by: Bonita L. for Radiant Lit.com
Publisher: Putnam Praise…2010
What would cause a young boy like Levi, who was in the process of studying to be a priest in the temple in Jerusalem, to turn from the God of his fathers and take up the disgraceful job of tax collecting? In “Matthew’s Story” we follow the life of the disciple, Matthew, from his childhood when he was known as Levi in the town of Bet Gurvin, which is 20 miles southwest of Bethlehem, to his adulthood when he gave up tax collecting to become Matthew, a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth.
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins did a wonderful job of leading us on the life journey of Matthew, from his boyhood as Levi the son of a tanner named Alphaeus, through his decision to go against the teaching of his parents and the temple to take up the one type of employment that is look down up on by his fellow Jews, that of tax collector for Rome. After bringing shame to his family and cutting himself off from all he once loved, and reaching the pinnacle of power and wealth, Matthew, at the calling of Jesus, leaves all behind to follow and learn from Christ. LaHaye and Jenkins paint a wonderful, emotion-driven picture of the life and choices of Matthew that allow us to understand the disciple better. What would make him turn from his family and faith? What would make Matthew later leave all his wealth and power, to take up with a traveling teacher? What would bring him to the realization that he was now following the one, true Messiah? Using Matthew’s own writings from the Bible, LaHaye and Jenkins spin the tale of Matthew’s life so well, that the Bible comes to life with every single word. This could be the story of millions of people today, who let hardship or loss build a wall that will separate them from loved ones and from God. It is a story of a wall that is higher and stronger than the walls of Jericho, and harder to reach because it is within the soul of the man. This is also the story of a Savior, who reached into that soul and broke that wall down completely.
To read more of my review of “Matthew’s Story” at Radiant Lit.com… http://radiantlit.com/2012/03/review-matthews-storythe-jesus-chronicles/