This window depicts the call of Matthew, a tax collector, to join Jesus' band of disciples. Matthew went on to write the Gospel of Matthew, his testimony of Jesus' life.
"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."
Tax collectors were one of the most despised of professions in that culture. They worked for the hated Romans, they gouged people for taxes, and then they skimmed off a large percentage of the tax revenues and lined their own pockets. No self-respecting Pharisee (religious ruler) would ever have dinner with someone as despicable as Matthew.
Jesus offers, to Matthew and to you, grace instead of rebuke; acceptance instead of judgment; mercy instead of recrimination; an invitation to come and be with someone, instead of being rejected and cast away. Jesus is the One who calls us to Himself in the midst of our deepest trials and worst days of our lives, when everyone else has rejected us and run the other way. Jesus is the Savior who seeks us out and calls us to Himself. Will you rise up and follow Him?
The Purves Window was presented in memory of George Tybout Purves (1852-1901), the sixth minister of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh who served in 1886.