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Matthew -- The Sacrificial Disicple (7 of 15)
TWELVE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
I. MATTHEW'S CIRCUMSTANCES
A. His Mentions
1. Matthew is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament (three of those are as Levi).
2. In these mentions, four of them are on the four lists of the twelve disciples given in Scripture.
3. The other four have to do with his conversion.
B. His Speaking
1. No verbal expression of Matthew is recorded in Scripture.
2. Matthew, of course, says a great deal in the gospel that bears his name.
C. His Names
1. Matthew is given two names in Scripture: Matthew and Levi, which shows up three times in the New Testament.
2. It is likely that the name Levi was changed to Matthew after his conversion.
3. The name Levi may indicate that Matthew was from the tribe of Levi and perhaps at one time had thoughts of being a Jewish priest.
4. The name Matthew is the Greek equivalent of the name Theodore, and means "Gift of Jehovah."
D. His Family
1. Matthew is listed once (Mark 2:14) as the son of Alphaeus.
2. Alphaeus was also the name of the father of another disciple -- James, the son of Alphaeus.
II. MATTHEW'S CAREER
A. Matthew was a publican -- a tax collector
1. A tax collector was a man who served Rome against his own people as a collector of taxes.
2. By nature of his position, his first loyalty had to be to Rome.
3. A franchise required collecting a specified amount of taxes for Rome and allowed anything collected beyond that figure to be kept as personal profit.
4. Because his power of taxation was virtually unlimited and was enforced by the Roman
military, the owner of a tax franchise in effect had a license for extortion.
5. For this reason, the publicans were understandably considered traitors by their own people and were usually despised even more than the Romans.
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