Teacher Notes

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 = Locate and trace on map
    Where did Jesus grow up?
      Matthew 2:23 = Nazareth, a town in Galilee
    Where did Jesus go to begin His ministry?
      Mark 1:9 = From Nazareth to Judea to be anointed in baptism by John in Jordan
    How old was Jesus at this time?
      Luke 3:23a = About 30 years old - Age when Levites began serving as priests (Num 4:47)

    Where did He go after being baptized? = Judean desert is between Jerusalem and Dead Sea
      Matthew 4:1 = Into the Judean desert to be tempted for 40 days
    Where is Jesus the next time we see Him?
      John 1:28-29, 35-36 = Back where John was baptizing - at the Bethany by the Jordan
    Does He stay around John for a good while?
      John 2:1-2 = No, the next day He went to Cana, a town in Galilee by Nazareth

    Did He then go back home to Nazareth?
      John 2:12 = No, He went to Capernaum, a town on northern shore of Sea of Galilee
    Why did He only stay there a few days?
      John 2:13 = It was time to go to Jerusalem for the Passover
    Did Jesus go home to Nazareth after the Passover was over?
      John 3:22 = No, He began ministering in Judea

    What caused Him to leave and where did He go? = Left to avoid conflicts from perceived competition
      John 4:1-5 = Returned to Galilee - through Samaria; Met woman at the well
    Where did He next spend time ministering? = Samaritans believed before Jews in Galilee heard
      John 4:40-41 = Stayed two days at Sychar in Samaria
    Where did He go after Sychar?
      John 4:43, 46 = Returned to Cana; Healed official's son in Capernaum remotely

    Did He stay in Cana to minister there?
      Luke 4:14-15 = No, He traveled throughout Galilee
    What is one of the places where He went to minister in Galilee?
      Luke 4:16, 29 = His home town of Nazareth - He was rejected there
    Where did He go then?
      Matthew 4:13 = To live in Capernaum

    Did Jesus settle in Capernaum and take a break from His continual travels?
      Luke 4:42-43 = No, He continued to travel throughout Galilee (& Judea)
    Since Capernaum served as the home base for His ministry, did Jesus consider it home?
      Matthew 8:20 = No, He had no place to lay His head

Jesus Gathers Disciples (John 1:35-45)
    Where and when do we first see people following Jesus? = Andrew, Simon, John (& James)
      John 1:35-42 = Two of John's disciples follow Him and bring their brother(s)
    How soon do we see more disciples being added?
      John 1:43-45 = The next day Jesus called Philip and he brought Nathaniel
    Did these disciples follow Jesus on His travels, or did He meet different disciples in different places?
      John 2:1-2, 12; 3:22 = They followed Him around
    Did these men become full-time disciples from the beginning?
      Mark 1:16-20 = No, they went back to work; Jesus called them to be fishers of men

Another Called Disciple (Luke 5:27)
    What other disciple do we see specifically called by Jesus?
      Luke 5:27 = Levi, a tax collector - Levi means "joined" - he was joined to sin in business
    How was this tax collector even further called by Jesus?
      Mark 3:13-18a = He was chosen from among all Jesus' disciples to be a select apostle

    What do we learn from Mark about this Levi?
      Mark 2:14a = Son of Alphaeus
    What interesting point do we find as we continue through the list of the twelve select apostles?
      Mark 3:18b-19 = James the Less was also a son of Alphaeus (brothers?)

    What other interesting point do we get from Matthew's account?
      Matthew 9:9 = He was also called Matthew
    Matthew - Gift of God = Could be a second name, a Greek name or a name given by Jesus
      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 = His occupation as a tax collector - Didn't want to forget his unworthiness

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 = He was a little Mokhes
    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 = They hated and despised them, ranked with robbers, sinners, adulterers...
    Why were tax collectors so hated by the Jews? Because they took their money like IRS agents?
      Matthew 22:15-17 = Supported foreign power which occupied the land of Israel
      Leviticus 25:36-37 = Became rich at the expense of his countrymen
      Acts 11:2-3 = They were in constant contact with Gentiles, always unclean

    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 = Yes
    Did Jesus agree that tax collectors could never be saved?
      Matthew 21:31-32 = No, those who see no need to repent will not be saved
    Did any tax collectors respond to John's call for repentance?
      Luke 3:12-13 = Yes, John told them to do their jobs honestly (not to leave their jobs)
    What great example do we have of a tax collector responding to Jesus in repentance?
      Luke 19:1-2, 5, 8 = Zacchaeus offered to pay back four-fold - beyond penalty of law for theft

Matthew's Job (Mark 2:13-14)
    Where did Matthew serve as Little Mokhes?
      Mark 2:1, 13-14 = In Capernaum, Jesus' home base
    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 = He was teaching a large crowd and called Matthew personally in passing
    How did Matthew respond to this call of grace? = Left his great wealth and livelihood
      Luke 5:28 = He got up, left everything and followed him
    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 = He threw a great feast in Jesus' honor
    Being outcast from society, who was Matthew able to get to come to this party?
      Mark 2:15 = Other outcasts from society
    Besides honoring Jesus, what was likely a key purpose of Matthew's feast?
      Acts 4:20 = He was excited about introducing others to Jesus - Are we likewise excited?

    Did anyone have trouble with this celebration?
      Mark 2:16 = The "devout" Pharisees had trouble with a rabbi having fellowship with sinners
    Wouldn't the Pharisees become unclean by going into Matthew's house to see this?
      Matthew 9:11 = Yes, they saw from outside and complained to Jesus' disciples

The Doctor Is In (Matthew 9:12-13)
    How did Jesus respond to the comments of the Pharisees? = Acknowledged need for repentance
      Matthew 9:12 = It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick
      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 = I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance
    How does Matthew show that Jesus is trying to make certain that the Pharisees understand Him?
      Matthew 9:13 = Go and learn was common rabbi saying to get student to study text closer
    Why did Jesus say "I desire mercy, not sacrifice"?
      Hosea 6:4-6 = Pharisees would recognize call to faith over ritual obedience
      Micah 6:6-8 = Pharisees would recognize call to justice and mercy toward repentant
    How did Jesus further explain this later?
      Matthew 25:40 = We are to show God's mercy (hesed - lovingkindness) to others

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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