Levi - The same as Matthew; he appears to have been a Jew, though employed in the odious office of a tax-gatherer. For an account of his call, see his Gospel, Matthew 9:9, etc.
Levi, the son of Alpheus - The same, undoubtedly, as “Matthew,” the writer of the gospel which bears his name. It was not uncommon among the Jews to have two names.
The receipt of custom - See the notes at Matthew 9:9.
True religion is embodied in the Word of God, and consists in being under the guidance of the Holy One in thought, word, and deed. He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life takes the humble, earnest, wholehearted seeker, and says, Follow Me. He leads him in the narrow way to holiness and heaven.... And all who decide to follow the Lord fully will be led in the royal path (The Review and Herald, March 29, 1906). LHU 106.6Read in context »
29 (Matthew 9:9, 10; Mark 2:14, 15). Matthew Honored Christ Before Friends—In his grateful humility, Matthew desired to show his appreciation of the honor bestowed upon him, and, calling together those who had been his associates in business, in pleasure, and sin, he made a great feast for the Saviour. If Jesus would call him, who was so sinful and unworthy, He would surely accept his former companions who were, thought Matthew, far more deserving than himself. Matthew had a great longing that they should share the benefits of the mercies and grace of Christ. He desired them to know that Christ did not, as did the scribes and Pharisees, despise and hate the publicans and sinners. He wanted them to know Christ as the blessed Saviour. 5BC 1120.1
At the feast the Saviour occupied the most honored seat. Matthew was now the servant of Christ, and he would have his friends know in what light he regarded his Leader and Master. He would have them know that he felt highly honored in entertaining so royal a guest. 5BC 1120.2Read in context »
Of the Roman officials in Palestine, none were more hated than the publicans. The fact that the taxes were imposed by a foreign power was a continual irritation to the Jews, being a reminder that their independence had departed. And the taxgatherers were not merely the instruments of Roman oppression; they were extortioners on their own account, enriching themselves at the expense of the people. A Jew who accepted this office at the hands of the Romans was looked upon as betraying the honor of his nation. He was despised as an apostate, and was classed with the vilest of society. DA 272.1Read in context »