“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”
Matthew 9: 9

Extra readings: Matthew 9: 9-13; Mark 2: 13-17; Luke 5: 27, 28

Today we begin our devotional study of the Jesus birth story as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.Matthew and Luke were both Jesus followers, one a tax collector, the other a doctor. But that is not the most obvious difference between them. Matthew was a Jewish believer, Luke, a Gentile Greek believer - and herein lies their two different approaches to the Jesus birth story. Today, the Gospel written by Matthew is known all over the world but when he wrote it, in the first century, his intended audience was primarily other Jewish Christians.

The calling of Matthew is an episode in the life of Jesus that appears in all three synoptic Gospels. We might consider him an odd choice if Jesus was trying to curry favour with the Jews. Matthew was a tax collector..on behalf of the hated oppressor, Rome. This made him as repugnant as a pig to the Jews. And yet here he is, some 30 years later, writing an account of Jesus’ life in such a way as to intentionally and directly address his fellow Jews. Here he is, some 30 years later, one of the 12 foundational apostles of Christ’s ongoing ministry in the world.

Truly, truly, it’s not how you start but how you finish. Don’t concern yourself in the least bit about who you were or where you come from..allthat matters is what Christ can make of you. And he can make of you the finest of men. Don’t worry about the Christian next to you. Christ is able to make of her a fully sanctified saint.


Lord Jesus, how great and awesome is your saving power. You can save from the guttermostto the uttermost. And you will. Thank you. I once again put all my trust in you and your saving work.

Here’s how you can do today’s devotion as a family

1. Prepare by getting the following YouTube clips ready for the family to watch. There are two to choose from, depending on the ages of the children.

        Calling of Matthew The Chosen

        Calling of Matthew Animation

2. Begin today’s devotion by reminding everyone that you are going to be finding out what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus. One of the people who wrote about it was Matthew. Watch the video clips together.
3. Ask each person to comment.
4. Explain that even though Matthew started out as a sinner, after following Jesus for a while, he went on to become one of the greatest leaders in the early Church. It doesn’t matter who or what you are when you come to Jesus. He makes you into a new and fabulous person.
5. Finish by praying and blessing each child, then allow them to open their Day 2 Advent Calendar.

A fun way to save money and get ready for Christmas early is to get the children involved in making your own wrapping paper. There are tons of YouTube videos about this, including the two below.  

Make your own Christmas wrapping paper

Make your own Christmas wrapping (potato print)