The Book of Matthew
Matt. 9.9; Acts 1.13. "...from that our" (Matt. 9.22) are Matthew's own words.
.More than any other disciple, Matthew had a clear idea of how much it would cost him to follow Jesus, yet he did not hesitate a moment. When he left his tax collecting booth, he guaranteed himself unemployment. For several of the other disciples, there was always fishing to return to, but for Matthew, there was no turning back.
Two challenges happened to Matthew when he decided to follow Jesus. First, Jesus gave him a new life. He not only belonged to a new group; he belonged to the Son of God. He was not just accepting a different way of life; he was now an accepted person. For a despised tax collector, that change must have been wonderful! Second, Jesus gave Matthew a new purpose for his skills. When he followed Jesus, the only tool from his past job that he carried with him was his pen. From the beginning, God had made him a record keeper. Jesus' call eventually allowed him to put his skills to their finest work. Matthew was a keen observer, and he undoubtedly recorded what he saw going on around him. The Gospel that bears his name came as a result.
Matthew's experience points out that each of us, from the beginning, is one of God's works in progress. Much of what God has for us he gives long before we are able to consciously respond to him. He trusts us with skills and abilities ahead of schedule. He has made each of us capable of being his servant. When we trust him with what he has given us, we begin a life of real adventure. Matthew couldn't have known that God would use the very skills he had sharpened as a tax collector to record the greatest story ever lived. And God has no less meaningful a purpose for each of us. Have you recognized Jesus saying to you, "Follow me? What as been your response?"
Strengths and accomplishments:
Was one of the 12 disciples
Responded immediately to the call of Jesus
Invited many friends to his home to meet Jesus
Compiled the Gospel of Matthew
Clarified for his Jewish audience Jesus' fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies
Lessons from life
Jesus consistently accepted people from every level of society
Matthew was given a new life, and his God-given skills of record keeping and attention to detail were given new purpose
Having been accepted by Jesus, Matthew immediately tried to bring others into contact with Jesus
Other Gospels give more detail regarding the call of Matthew. As usual Matthew omits the particulars in Matt. 9.9-13. Besides, Matthew does not wish to write much concerning himself. In Matt. 9.22, here again we notice how scanty in detail is the narrative of Matthew. This is his characteristic way of writing.
"And Matthew the publican" (10.3) - Only the Gospel of Matthew are the words "publican" attached to the name Matthew. No doubt this is due to the fact that when Matthew was recording this event he recalled his own salvation. And it might very well be that he wrote this line with tears.