And as he passed by He saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him,
 "Follow Me". 
Mark 2:14

. . . learning from the men, women and children of Bible times
            Matthew,  an apostle of Jesus Christ                                                                 This is a true story!

The Apostle Matthew
(son of Alpheus, Mk. 2:14)

was a tax-collector for the Roman government (Mt. 9:9). 

Tax collectors weren't liked any
better THEN than they are NOW!

Besides the fact that he was a tax collector, he was a Jew working for the Roman government to collect taxes from the Jews.  This was doubly offensive to the Jews.

So Matthew wasn't liked very well by his countrymen.

The Romans ruled Israel at this time and any Jew who willingly worked for the Romans was considered to be a traitor and a sinner (Mt. 9:11). 

 His Jewish name was Levi  (Lk. 5:27-29)
and he was probably given the
Greek name Matthew
which means

after he became a disciple. 


Jesus approached Matthew while he was collecting taxes and told him to
 “Follow me.” 

Matthew immediately got up and followed Jesus.

           Shortly after Jesus went to Matthew’s house for dinner. There were several other tax collectors and sinners eating with them which made the Pharisees angry and so they asked “Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?” 

Jesus heard them and answered “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
(Mt. 9: 10-13; Mk. 2: 15-17; Lk. 5:29-32). 


            Other than writing his Gospel not much is known about Matthew’s later life.  Early Church fathers Clement and Irenaeus say that Matthew stayed in Palestine preaching the Gospel to the Jews for at least 15 years after Christ’s ascension after which he was martyred. The details of his death are not known.



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The calling of Matthew

Matthew is not mentioned again in the Gospels except in the list of those Apostles present in the upper room after Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:13).

However he did write the Gospel of Matthew which is the longest and most detailed of the four Gospels. More than any other gospel Matthew proves to his readers that Jesus is the Messiah by showing how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah.


prophesy: ...out of Bethlehem will come a ruler over Israel...
Micah 5:2
fulfillment ...Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea...
Matthew 2:1
prophesy ...the Lord himself will give you a miraculous sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son and He will be called Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14
...the Lord said through the prophet that the virgin is going to have a baby and she will give birth to a son and his name shall be called Immanuel.
Matthew 1:22
prophesy ...there is the sound of crying and deep sadness; mothers refuse to be comforted because their babies are gone.
Jeremiah 31:15

fulfillment ...Herod had realized that the wise men had tricked him so he gave orders that all the boys 2 years old and under in Bethlehem should be killed. Matthew 2:17
prophesy ...When Israel was a young nation, I loved them. I chose to bring my son out of Egypt.
Hosea 11:1

fulfillment ...Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt that night and stayed there until King Herod died. Matthew 2:14-15
prophesy ...He must not use a razor on his head; he must not cut his hair. That is because the boy will be a Nazarite. He will be set apart to God from the day he is born.
Judges 13:5

fulfillment ...there Jesus lived in a town called Nazareth.   The prophets had said, "He will called a Nazarite".
Matthew 2:23
prophesy ...In the days to come God will honor Galilee. The people who are now living in darkness will see a great light.
Isaiah 9:1-2

fulfillment ...Jesus left Nazareth. He went to live in the city of Capernaum which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Matthew 4:13
prophesy ...He suffered the things we should have suffered. We thought God was punishing Him; but He was pierced because we had sinned.
Isaiah 53:4

fulfillment ...Jesus drove out the demon spirits with just a word. He healed all who were sick.
Matthew 8:16-17
prophesy ...City of Zion, be full of joy! People of Jerusalem shout! See, your king comes to you. He has the power to save. He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
Isaiah 53:4

fulfillment ...The disciples brought the colt and put their coats on him and Jesus rode on the colt through the streets of Jerusalem as the crowd shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!".
Matthew 21:4-5

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