Matthew, who was also called Levi was the son of a man called Alphaeus. Matthew worked as a tax collector in Capernaum, when Jesus saw him and told him to follow Him. It's important to understand how significant Jesus' calling of Matthew was. We have to remember that the Jewish people of Jesus' time were still eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of God's promises and the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. They were not only waiting and expecting a restoration of the lost ten tribes of the old Northern Kingdom, but they were also waiting for a restoration of the glory days of King's David and Solomon. Historically speaking the reign of King David was the great golden age in Israel's history and the focal point of how the Jewish people thought of the restoration of the kingdom, as well as the role of the coming Messiah during the time of Jesus. Moreover, the Jewish people misunderstood the concept of separation and as a result national pride, expectation for the restoration of Israel's Davidic Kingdom and separation from the Gentiles created an atmosphere ripe for strife. Why is this important? This is important to understand because of Matthew's chosen profession in life. When we speak of the Apostle Matthew working as a tax collector, we have to understand this was the most hated role in all of Israel. Matthew not only supported the occupying Gentile power, but the nature of his job was to take as much money from his fellow countrymen as he could. Tax collectors had a specified amount they were to collect for Rome. However, anything above and beyond that amount was their personal income, this meant their wealth was dependent on how much they could extort from their fellow countrymen.
From a social-cultural standpoint, Matthew was an outcast, he had no hopes of regaining a life as part of normal Jewish society. Matthew was part of one of the most hated groups of people in all Judaism, and yet Jesus chose him, why? Because Jesus looks at the hearts of men and women, and what we can become, not who we are now. If we look at Matthew, we can see his heart for God. Matthew instantly obeyed and followed Jesus, giving up everything he had in life. Remember, he was already an outcast, so to give up his position as a tax collector was to give up everything and all possibilities of making a living. In addition, as we read the Gospel of Matthew, it's important to note that a common Jewish literary style was to organize letters like this, into logical blocks of related material, and not necessarily in chronological order. And if we look at the way Matthew structured his Gospel we see that like the Pentateuch, it can be broken down into five sections or logical blocks based on a topic or on similar events. These include the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus missionary discourse, Jesus' teaching on discipleship, the parables of Jesus, and Jesus' teaching about His return and the day of the Lord. In his gospel, Matthew uses the designation "Son of David." He does so on purpose to show from a Jewish perspective that Jesus is not only a descendent of David through Mary, but also rightful heir through His adoptive father Joseph. Therefore, culturally Jesus is the legitimate heir to the throne of David. In addition, Matthew emphasizes Jesus' identity as the divine Son of God, which gives Jesus the divine right to the throne of David because He alone is the Messiah of God. This means that Jesus alone has the authority to control nature, heal disease, and forgive sins. Matthew was an eyewitness of many of the events he described, giving firsthand testimony about the words and works of Jesus during His earthy ministry.
That Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior promised to our fathers. The nativity of Christ. The wise men, who are the firstfruits of the gentiles come to visit the newborn Christ. Joseph at the command of the Lord, flees into Egypt with Jesus and Mary. King Herod kills the firstborn of the land in an effort to kill the promised Messiah. Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and tempted. Jesus sends Satan fleeing by speaking and quoting the word of God. The angles minister to Him. Jesus teaches repentance and that the Kingdom of God has come to men. Jesus calls Peter and Andrew his brother. Jesus calls James and John his brother. Jesus preaches the Gospel and heals the sick and lame.
1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 1:3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 1:4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 1:5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 1:6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 1:7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 1:8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 1:9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 1:10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 1:11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. 1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 1:13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 1:14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 1:15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 1:16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 1:21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 1:25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2:2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." 2:3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 2:5 So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 2:6 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.' " 2:7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." 2:9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 2:11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." 2:14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son." 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 2:17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more." 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead." 2:21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 3:2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.' " 3:4 And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 3:5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 3:6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 3:9 "and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 3:10 "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 3:12 "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 3:14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 4:2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 4:3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "