As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, 'Follow Me.' So he arose and followed Him.
Since names are important in the Bible, and Matthew* was called Levi since his birth, why did Jesus give him a brand new name?
Levi, the tax collector, was attached to foreign rulers and Jewish brethren. To Rome, he was a source of revenue. To his kin, he was a traitorous skunk
So Jesus called him Matthew: 'YAHWEH's gift': a new name for a new man in a new life.**
Consider the importance of Matthew:
1) Although the Jews despised tax collectors (because they often took bribes for favors or overcharged people for kickbacks), was Matthew an honest man among thieves?
2) Whether he was already ethical or became convicted of his own sins, Matthew left comfort and security without hesitation when Jesus called.
3) In addition to his desiring heart, Matthew was gifted and seasoned with extraordinary attention to detail. With both, he would write the longest Gospel.
4) When he joined Jesus as a disciple, his dubious reputation came, too. Jesus ignored how others saw Matthew. Instead, He focused on his potential.
5) Before the home team left Capernaum accompanied by their newest recruit, Matthew threw Jesus a lavish banquet, along with other guests of ill-repute.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What can this tax collector teach you?
Maybe words of eternal wisdom, if you read the Gospel of Matthew.
Maybe people we see as sinners are seen quite differently by God.
Maybe Matthew's friends (viewed as scoundrels) were closer to God than faith phonies.
Maybe men who have jobs we don't like are waiting on a break-free moment..
## The Enemy's Game: God's All Stars--Matthew (Part 94)
* Short article: Who was Matthew in the Bible? http://www.gotquestions.org/Matthew-in-the-Bible.html
* Short article: Matthew: Tax Collector and Apostle: http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/JZ-Matthew.htm
** Meaning of the name, Levi: http://www.behindthename.com/name/levi; Meaning of the name, Matthew: http://www.behindthename.com/name/matthew
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 devotion series called, 'The Enemy's Game.' You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you're not a performer, don't be deterred. In truth, every disciple acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.