|And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man sitting at the tax office, called Matthew, and He said to him, Follow Me. And he rose and followed Him.|
|And as He was reclining at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and reclined together with Jesus and His disciples.|
A tax collector was a despised person. Nearly all tax collectors abused their office by demanding more than they should by false accusation (Luke 3:12-13; 19:2, 8). To pay taxes to the Romans was very bitter to the Jews. Those engaged in collecting them were despised by the people and counted unworthy of any respect (Luke 18:9-10). Hence, they were classed with sinners (Matt. 9:10-11). How we must worship the Lord that even a person of such a low rank as Matthew, under God’s mercy and by His grace, could become an apostle! After being saved, Matthew was so grateful to the Lord that he opened his house and prepared a feast for Him and His disciples.