Who was Matthew in the Bible?
Here's the answer:
Matthew was one of Jesus' disciples.
Matthew is one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Before he started following Jesus, he was a tax collector. In that culture, people didn’t like tax collectors because they cheated others out of money. Despite Matthew’s past, he showed his new redeemed life by following Jesus and helping others learn about Him. He is also the writer of the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew is also called Levi by Luke and Mark (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27). Some people try to claim Matthew and Levi are different people, but they are actually the same person. It is not uncommon in the Bible for people to receive new names after they have known God and had their lives changed by Him. As mentioned, Matthew was a tax collector and people didn't like tax collectors because they were known to be dishonest.
Despite Matthew's past, he is called to follow Jesus.
"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew. He was sitting at the tax collector’s booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him. Matthew got up and followed him" (Matthew 9:9).
Even though being a tax collector ensured he would make enough money, he chose to give away his position and then follow Jesus. We can see how devoted Matthew was to the Lord in this action.
"As he walked along he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting at the tax collector’s booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him. Levi got up and followed him" (Mark 2:14).
"Jesus heard this. So he said, 'Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. Go and learn what this means, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me'" (Matthew 9:12-13).