The Call of Matthew
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up, left everything, and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance."
atthew was a tax collector, a very lucrative profession. Hated by his fellow Jews because of his profession and collaboration with the Romans. The right to collect taxes was auctioned to the highest bidder and the auction price had to be paid at the beginning of the tax year. Matthew, also called Levi, collected taxes on goods as they entered and left the territory of Herod Antipas at Capernaum not only from the local farmers and traders but from those carrying goods between Egypt and the East travelling along the road from Egypt to Damascus which passed through Capernaum. A wealthy man, Jesus challenged him. Matthew "left everything and followed him". Tradition records Matthew composed a handbook of Jesus teaching.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries