Lessons from the Life of Matthew
Apart from finding his name in the lists of disciples, the only stories that focus on Matthew (Levi) are of his call to be a disciple and a feast that he gave in honor of Jesus (Mark 2:13–17, Matthew 9:9–13, and Luke 5:27–32). By way of illustration, Matthew teaches us two simple lessons. First, leave everything behind. After receiving the command “Follow me,” Matthew responded immediately: “And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him” (Luke 5:28). What is remarkable about this departure is what Matthew left behind. He left “the tax booth” while taxing citizens (Luke 5:27). If Matthew was like other tax collectors, he would have been known for exacting more money than necessary and being as sinful as a prostitute (cf. Matthew 21:31–32). However, like Zaccheus, the repentant tax collector, or other tax collectors who would follow Jesus (Luke 7:29; 18:10–14; 19:2–10), Matthew forsook his previous life and [more]
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