Work is an essential component of God's kingdom. Matthew, the tax collector-turned-apostle, recounts Jesus’ actions and teachings to show us how God intends us to live and work in his new kingdom. As followers of Jesus Christ, we live in two worlds. We stand with one foot in the human world, where our work may be subject to unspoken expectations that may or not be in accordance with God’s ways. At the same time, as Christians we are subjects of God's kingdom, committed to his values and expectations. In telling the story of Jesus, Matthew shows us how to navigate the human world using God’s compass. In doing so, he constantly points us toward the world’s true identity as the “kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew uses “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” interchangeably; see Matthew 19:23-24). This kingdom “has come” to earth, even though it has not yet become completely realized here. Until it comes to completion, Jesus’ followers are to live and work according to God’s call as “resident aliens” in this present world.
To guide us in this way of life and work, Jesus discusses workplace matters such as leadership and authority, power and influence, fair and unfair business practices, truth and deception, treatment of workers, conflict resolution, wealth and the necessities of life, workplace relationships, investing and saving, rest, and working in organizations with policies and practices that are at odds with biblical norms.
You can purchase a print copy of the Theology of Work Bible Commentary, Volume 4: Matthew through Acts at the TOW Project Bookstore.
Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1989).
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