Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Calls Matthew

Matthew 9:9-13

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Heals on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      IJesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.... For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Matthew 9:12, 13b

Opening Prayer

WHERE Jesus Begins to Minister
    Where did Jesus grow up?
      Matthew 2:23
    Where did Jesus go to begin His ministry?
      Mark 1:9
    How old was Jesus at this time?
      Luke 3:23a

    Where did He go after being baptized?
      Matthew 4:1
    Where is Jesus the next time we see Him?
      John 1:28-29, 35-36
    Does He stay around John for a good while?
      John 2:1-2

    Did He then go back home to Nazareth?
      John 2:12
    Why did He only stay there a few days?
      John 2:13
    Did Jesus go home to Nazareth after the Passover was over?
      John 3:22

    What caused Him to leave and where did He go?
      John 4:1-5
    Where did He next spend time ministering?
      John 4:40-41
    Where did He go after Sychar?
      John 4:43, 46

    Did He stay in Cana to minister there?
      Luke 4:14-15
    What is one of the places where He went to minister in Galilee?
      Luke 4:16, 29
    Where did He go then?
      Matthew 4:13

    Did Jesus settle in Capernaum and take a break from His continual travels?
      Luke 4:42-43
    Since Capernaum served as the home base for His ministry, did Jesus consider it home?
      Matthew 8:20

Jesus Gathers Disciples (John 1:35-45)
    Where and when do we first see people following Jesus?
      John 1:35-42
    How soon do we see more disciples being added?
      John 1:43-45
    Did these disciples follow Jesus on His travels, or did He meet different disciples in different places?
      John 2:1-2, 12; 3:22
    Did these men become full-time disciples from the beginning?
      Mark 1:16-20

Another Called Disciple (Luke 5:27)
    What other disciple do we see specifically called by Jesus?
      Luke 5:27
    How was this tax collector even further called by Jesus?
      Mark 3:13-18a

    What do we learn from Mark about this Levi?
      Mark 2:14a
    What interesting point do we find as we continue through the list of the twelve select apostles?
      Mark 3:18b-19

    What other interesting point do we get from Matthew's account?
      Matthew 9:9
    Matthew - Gift of God
      Matthew calls himself Matthew, Mark and Luke call him Levi
    What else does Matthew point out that the other gospel writers leave out in their lists of apostles?
      Matthew 10:3

Tax Collectors
    Two types of tax collectors - Gabbai and Mokhes
    Gabbai - Collected regular taxes:
      Ground Tax - 1/10th of all grain, 1/5th of all wine & fruit
      Income Tax - 1 % of income
      Poll Tax - Set fee on all persons, slave & free (men 14-65, women 12-65)
    Mokhes - Collected miscellaneous taxes on anything they could dream up
      Imports, Exports, Sales, Bridge money, Road money, Harbor dues, Town dues, etc.
      Expanded to include things like axles, wheels, pack-animals, pedestrians, roads,
        river crossings, bridges, market admission, licenses, etc.
      Travelers were stopped & unload, everything was searched to determine tax
        21/2 - 5 % on goods, up to 121/2 % on luxury items
    Mokhes territories were auctioned to the highest bidder
      Romans required a certain amount, Mokhes was able to charge and tax whatever he wanted
      Mokhes could become very wealthy, especially in high traffic areas
    Great Mokhes coordinated a network of little Mokhes'
      Little Mokhes did the dirty work, personally sat at collector booth, directly approached people
      Little Mokhes was the worst of the worst

The Publican
    Which type of tax collector was Matthew?
      Matthew 9:9
    Publicanus - Latin for a man who did public duty, most often referenced Little Mokhes
      telones - Greek for "a farmer of the tax"
    How did the "righteous" Jews feel about tax collectors?
      Luke 18:11
    Why were tax collectors so hated by the Jews? Because they took their money like IRS agents?
      Matthew 22:15-17
      Leviticus 25:36-37
      Acts 11:2-3

    Rabbinic writings:
      Tax collectors were virtually impossible to save
      Tax collectors were banned from the temple as unclean
      Okay to lie about your property to a tax collector
      Forbidden to accept alms for the poor or use money for exchange from tax collectors (tainted)
      A Pharisee who became a tax collector was expelled until he quits and repents
      Tax collectors could never become judges and were inadmissible as witnesses

    Did Jesus agree that tax collectors were great sinners?
      Matthew 18:17
    Did Jesus agree that tax collectors could never be saved?
      Matthew 21:31-32
    Did any tax collectors respond to John's call for repentance?
      Luke 3:12-13
    What great example do we have of a tax collector responding to Jesus in repentance?
      Luke 19:1-2, 5, 8

Matthew's Job (Mark 2:13-14)
    Where did Matthew serve as Little Mokhes?
      Mark 2:1, 13-14
    Capernaum was a major hub on the trade route from the east (Persia, orient) to/from Tyre & Israel
      Matthew would have had a toll booth on the highway into Gaulanitis (Golan Heights)
      High traffic area would have made him very wealthy
    Matthew had to be well educated for such a position
      Likely the most educated of all of the apostles
      Education allowed him to research Scriptures to show Jesus as the prophesied Messiah
      Early church historians say his gospel was written in Hebrew to reach intended Jews
        Tax collectors in Palestine typically had to speak Aramaic, Greek and Latin
        God used Matthew's background in His service - see Joseph, Moses, Paul

    Besides calling a despised tax collector, how else do we see Jesus reaching to Matthew in grace?
      Mark 2:13-14
    How did Matthew respond to this call of grace?
      Luke 5:28
    Note: Other disciples could always go back to their occupations at any time - fishing...
      Matthew would be immediately replaced - He left everything

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Matthew 9:10-11)
    How else did Matthew respond to his calling?
      Luke 5:29
    Being outcast from society, who was Matthew able to get to come to this party?
      Mark 2:15
    Besides honoring Jesus, what was likely a key purpose of Matthew's feast?
      Acts 4:20

    Did anyone have trouble with this celebration?
      Mark 2:16
    Wouldn't the Pharisees become unclean by going into Matthew's house to see this?
      Matthew 9:11

The Doctor Is In (Matthew 9:12-13)
    How did Jesus respond to the comments of the Pharisees?
      Matthew 9:12
      ischyo - Used in Matthew & Mark for healthy - Greek for able, strong, healthy
      hygiaino - Used by Dr. Luke - Greek for opposite of diseased, root for hygiene
    How does Jesus explain His purpose?
      Luke 5:32
    How does Matthew show that Jesus is trying to make certain that the Pharisees understand Him?
      Matthew 9:13
    Why did Jesus say "I desire mercy, not sacrifice"?
      Hosea 6:4-6
      Micah 6:6-8
    How did Jesus further explain this later?
      Matthew 25:40

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:

Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page