From Dogs to Disciples: Matthew's Message of Inclusion for Outcasts
Matthew has long been viewed as a gospel written to the Jews. The message of this gospel, however, offers hope to everyone. This is clear from the very first verses where Jesus’ line is filled with Jews and Gentiles and runs all the way to the final verses when Jesus issues the Great Commission to his disciples. No matter their nationality, their status within society, or their wealth Jesus calls all to the same standard: pick up your cross and follow me.
From Dogs to Disciples examines Jesus welcoming societal outcasts, starting with the first miracle account: Jesus touching and healing a leper. He calls Matthew the tax collector to follow him. He is impressed with the faith of a Roman soldier and Canaanite woman. Children are welcomed by him even when the disciples seek to send them away. Jesus offer of hope and salvation is truly open to all.