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by Wayne Blank
Matthew The Tax Collector
Also called Levi (Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27), Matthew was chosen by Jesus Christ to be one of The Twelve Apostles. As the Scriptures above indicate, from Matthew's own Gospel, Matthew was not a particularly well-liked man, but regarded among "the tax collectors and sinners."
Matthew was a publican (see Custom and Tribute), who was stationed on the main road between Damascus and Capernaum, where he collected "toll" from farmers or merchants who were transporting their merchandise (e.g. Barley, Figs, wheat, Olives, wool) through Galilee. Since Jesus lived in Capernaum, on the north shore of The Sea Of Galilee, after He left Nazareth, the sight of Matthew would probably have been well familiar to Him.
At that time, tax collectors often operated on their own, after having paid an annual fee to the governing authorities (in Matthew's case, The Herods). They then collected everything that they could possibly get away with from the public who had no legal recourse. That, along with the fact that many were outright corrupt in their dealings, made them very much disliked. They were however, due to the nature of their profession, very good and accurate record-keepers. In a then generally illiterate world, this skill made them a natural choice for recording a Gospel account - which is exactly what Matthew later did.
Despite all of the information that he has provided about the life of Jesus Christ, Matthew gives us very little information about himself, except his profession and joining Christ. The other Gospel writers also make little mention of him, other than his inclusion among the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13), and his calling (Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:14-17, Luke 5:27-32).
Matthew's Gospel Account
2. Who was the human father of Jesus Christ? (Matthew 1:18-25) (see Joseph)
3. What was the name of the town in which The Savior was born? (Matthew 2:1) (see Bethlehem)
5. What is the name of the town where Jesus grew up (shown in photograph)? (Matthew 2:23) (see Nazareth)
6. What was the name of the prophet who "prepared the way" for the Savior? (Matthew 3:1) (see John The Baptist)
7. Was Jesus Christ baptized? (Matthew 3:13-17) (see Baptism)
8. What happened during the Temptation of Christ? (Matthew 4:1-11) (see Go Ahead, Jump!)
9. Where did Jesus go to live after the people of Nazareth rejected Him? (Matthew 8:5) (see Capernaum)
10. On what sort of animal did Jesus make His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem? (Matthew 21:1-11) (see The Donkey)
12. Which of the disciples was a traitor? (Matthew 26:14) (see Why Did He Do It?)
13. What happened on the night Jesus was arrested? (Matthew chapters 26 and 27) (see The Fateful Night)
14. What was the name of the Roman governor who condemned Jesus Christ to death, even though he knew The Lord was an innocent man? (Matthew 27:19-26) (see Pontius Pilate)
15. Who carried out The Crucifixion? (Matthew 27:27-31) (see Roman Legions)
16. Where was Jesus Crucified? (Matthew 27:33) (see Calvary)
17. What actually killed Jesus Christ? (see How Did Jesus Christ Die?)
18. Where was The Lord's Body placed after His death? (Matthew 27:57-60) (see The Garden Tomb)
19. Who was actually the first to speak with The Risen Christ? (see Mary of Magdala)
20. Where did The Lord meet with the disciples after His Resurrection? (Matthew 28:16) (see Galilee)
Fact Finder: Was Matthew eventually martyred like all of the other apostles?