When we come across a list of names in the Bible, we might be tempted to skip over it. But we can find treasures there, such as in the list of the twelve apostles whom Jesus called to serve in His Name. Many are familiar, Simon whom Jesus called Peter, the rock. Brothers James and John, fishermen. Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. However, we could easily overlook that Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot must once have been enemies.

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Matthew collected taxes for Rome, and therefore, in the eyes of his fellow Jews, collaborated with the enemy. Tax collectors were despised for their corrupt practices and for requiring the Jewish people to give money to an authority other than God.

Although Matthew and Simon held opposing political beliefs, the gospels don't document them bickering or fighting about them. They must have had at least some success in leaving their previous allegiances behind as they followed Christ.

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When we focus our eyes on Jesus, the God who became Man, we can find increasing unity with our fellow believers through the bond of the Hold Spirit.

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