atthew was one of the 12 apostles and was probably the person who wrote Matthew’s gospel. He followed Jesus in his ministry and was chosen to be one of his disciples. The Bible does not tell us much about Matthew’s life, but he left a very interesting account of Jesus’ life.
Before becoming a disciple of Jesus, Matthew was a tax collector, a tax collector for the Roman empire. Jews who worked as publicans had a bad reputation among their people because they were seen as traitors who collaborated with the oppressor. Publicans were also reputed to be corrupt, charging a lot to keep the profit.
One day, when Jesus was still at the beginning of his ministry, he saw Matthew sitting at the tax collector, doing his job. He called Matthew and told him to follow him. So Matthew left everything and followed Jesus! From there, he became a disciple of Jesus ( Matthew 9: 9 ).
Find out more about publicans in the Bible here.
Later, when Jesus chose 12 men to be his apostles , Matthew was one of the chosen ones ( Matthew 10: 2-4 ). Thus, he received special training from Jesus to be one of the future leaders of the Church. He followed Jesus throughout his ministry and participated in the founding of the Church after Jesus ascended to Heaven.
The Bible no longer tells us about Matthew’s life, but according to an ancient tradition he died as a martyr in East Africa.
Matthew or Levi?
The story of Matthew’s call is very similar to the story of a man named Levi, reported in Mark 2: 13-14 and Luke 5: 27-28 . In the three gospels, this story appears in the same place, after the healing of a paralyzed man who had been lowered from the roof of Peter’s house by his friends. So it is quite likely that Matthew and Levi were the same person.
Perhaps Mateus had two names: Mateus Levi. Or he may have changed his name, or become known by another name. If Matthew was Levi, his father’s name was Alphaeus .
After he decided to follow Jesus Levi (Matthew) he invited Jesus to eat at his house ( Mark 2: 15-16 ). Some Pharisees were scandalized, because Jesus was eating with people of disrepute, as tax collectors. But Jesus told them that he had come to call sinners to repentance ( Luke 5: 31-32 ).
Read more about the 12 apostles and their role in the Bible here.
The gospel of Matthew
According to tradition, the gospel of Matthew was written by the apostle Matthew. As a tax collector, Mateus would have to be able to read and write well, to take note of all transactions. Therefore, it is possible that he was able to write the gospel of Matthew.
See here: what are the gospels? Why are there four?
Matthew is the first of the four gospels and shows how Jesus was the Savior promised by God in the Old Testament. The gospel makes many references to prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. It also recounts many of Jesus’ great teachings, including the famous Sermon on the Mount .
The gospel of Matthew has a lot in common with the Gospels of Mark and Luke but it also has several unique stories and parables, such as:
- The account of Joseph’s dream about the birth of Jesus – Matthew 1: 18-21
- The account of the visit of the magicians and the flight to Egypt – Matthew 2
- The parable of the wheat and tares – Matthew 13: 24-30
- The parable of the treasure – Matthew 13: 44-46
- The parable of the net with many fish – Matthew 13: 47-50
- The miracle of the coin in the fish –