Today’s Scripture: And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. Luke 5:27‑29
Christ offered Matthew the opportunity to be one of his disciples. This is significant because Matthew was a publican, a tax collector for the Roman Empire. This was the lowest place, socially, a Jew could put himself. The Pharisees ridiculed Christ and His disciples for even talking to publicans. Matthew was the least you would expect to be a disciple. Christ has a habit of using the people we would least expect to do the most good.
Immediately after deciding to leave his career to follow Jesus, Matthew used his former occupation for good. He hosted a feast with all the publicans he knew to have them listen to Jesus. Eventually, Matthew would write the book of Matthew. According to tradition, Matthew would end up preaching the gospel in Ethiopia. It is there that he would be slain by a halberd,1 an axe-like weapon with a spear-shaped point.
Matthew was an Apostle that we can use as an example. We may consider ourselves unqualified to do the Lord’s work, or maybe even to be saved. We may be the lowest in society, yet God has a plan for our lives. God called Matthew, and Matthew lived his life for the spreading of the gospel. God has not lost His power. He is just as capable of using us as He was able to use Matthew.
1John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Chapter 1, IV. Matthew
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.