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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A portrait of Matthew

What's so marvelous about the Gospel of Matthew? A look at Paul Oman's vision — inspired by the apostle's words — answers the question.

A student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., Oman dug into his paint box of talent to illustrate his thesis about Matthew's Gospel. "Matthew wants desperately to reveal Christ and what heaven is like through ordinary comparison — wheat and weeds, treasure in a field, pearls and swine, laborers in the vineyard and the unmerciful servant, to name a few," Oman said.

And his watercolor shows this, as it takes the viewer on an ascent from the birth of Christ to the commissioning of his disciples. Some scenes depict the parables. Throughout, Oman used the themes of light and of glistening coins — which represent the wise use of money and talents or the tragic misuse, as with Judas and the 30 pieces of silver.

Oman, who grew up on a farm in Amery, Wis., often paints the wilderness of Wisconsin and Minnesota where he, his wife, Jana, and their son, Thomas, like to camp. He taught high school science before entering seminary. He is now interning at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa.


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