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Matthew the Tax Collector Becomes a Disciple of Jesus
When Jesus left Capernaum after healing the paralyzed man, He went to the seaside where all the people kept coming to Him, and He taught them. While there, He passed by the revenue collectors' house [or post]. A revenue officer named Matthew [called Levi, or Khalpi in Aramaic], the son of Alphaeus, was sitting at the treasury.
Jesus knew that Matthew would become His disciple. He said, "Follow me!" And Matthew left everything right then and got up and followed Jesus.153
Tax collectors in the time of Jesus were considered among the most evil of people. They were commissioned by the Roman government to collect taxes and the Roman government did not tell them how much to collect. They collected whatever they thought they could get out of a person, and whenever they wanted. Much of it went into their pockets. If a man did not pay, he was reported to the soldiers, and could be crucified.
God is so unimaginably perfect and holy that even the best of us sin against Him every day without even knowing it. To God, there is no difference between a tax collector and you and me. He could have picked anyone as a disciple and that person would most likely have been a sinner.
For a tax collector to be selected by the Roman government, he must be well educated and able to read and write. The sayings of Jesus were in great demand, especially by those who wanted to be healed. So Matthew wrote what he saw Jesus do from that time on. Authors did not identify themselves, as writings were circulated, re-written and amplified. Matthew may have written much of what is in all the books of the New Testament, but the book of Matthew was not necessarily written entirely by Matthew. As an example, the books of Moses and Joshua in the Old Testament were not written completely by Moses and Joshua, as they give details of the deaths and burials of each of them. This would be impossible. While scribes were extremely careful to not change one jot or tittle (Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17), entries were made by others who knew the circumstances, and these entries had to meet strict criterion. Eusebius quoted Papias that Matthew wrote his gospel in Aramaic.154153. Mark 2:13, 14; Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27, 28.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God