Matthew and Jude -
The “Hometown” Missionaries
Matthew 25: 31-46
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
One thing the apostle Matthew and Jude had in common
was a strong vision and passion for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ
to their contemporaries—the Hebrew speaking Jewish community.
We have to keep in mind that first century-Judea was
a Roman-occupied region which had previously been occupied by the Greeks;
you would think the official language of Judea was Hebrew and Aramaic
(which is closely related to Hebrew), but it was actually Greek. Hebrew,
of course was still spoken by the majority of he native Jews; however,
most daily communications in public—such as the market place—was conducted
in the Greek dialect of Koine’. This was also the language in which
most of the New Testament writings were written.
The persecution of Christians today as back then, of
course, is a terrible thing. However, God often uses a bad thing and uses
it toward good. When king Herod Agrippa III started to persecute
Christians in Judea, putting many to death (e.g. the apostle James,
brother of John), the apostles, including Matthew and Jude, were dispersed
all over the then-known world. That’s when the gospel of Jesus Christ was
truly starting to spread to “all nations” as Jesus had commanded in his
“great Commission” (Mt. 28:19).
However, both Matthew and Jude seemed to have sought
out the Hebrew-speaking Jewish communities even abroad. Jude preached the
Gospel in Judea’s surrounding states such as Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya.
 Even on Matthew’s more distant travels later he always seemed to have
sought out the Hebrew-speaking Jewish communities. This can be clearly
seen in the way he wrote his Gospel (although it was penned in Greek)......
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