Whether it is plain or not, each Gospel writer has a message the he thinks is more prominent in Jesus' message. The disciple Matthew was a tax collector, in other words a traitor of his Jewish people, that was chosen by Jesus to be his follower. Matthew was shown mercy like he has never known. Megan McKenna points to this theme of mercy in the ministry and life of Jesus that is most clearly displayed in Matthew's Gospel. At the end of each chapter in this commentary there are reflection questions that can be utilized for group or personal study.
Known as a scribe, minor tax collector and public sinner, Matthew sought to create an identity for the fledgling Christian community as it struggled against persecution by the Romans and ostracism by the Jewish leadership. In her new book, well-known author and master storyteller Megan McKenna shows how this identity is forged of forgiveness, reconciliation and atonement. What characterizes Matthews church is Jesus as the Mercy of God, as mercy shared. Matthew's community becomes the presence of the kingdom of heaven on earth the presence of God's mercy on earth. In this masterful commentary, McKenna shows that, as it did for that early Jewish community of Christians, Matthew's gospel offers balm and hope for the Church today.