And as Jesus passed forth from there, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him,
And he arose, and followed him.
All Commentaries on Matthew 9:9 Go To Matthew 9
Why did Jesus not call Matthew at the same time as he called Peter and John and the rest? He came to each one at a particular time when he knew that they would respond to him. He came at a different time to call Matthew when he was assured that Matthew would surrender to his call. Similarly, he called Paul at a different time when he was vulnerable, after the resurrection, something like a hunter going after his quarry. For he who is acquainted with our inmost hearts and knows the secrets of our minds knows when each one of us is ready to respond fully. Therefore he did not call them all together at the beginning, when Matthew was still in a hardened condition. Rather, only after countless miracles, after his fame was spread abroad, did he call Matthew. He knew Matthew had been softened for full responsiveness. We may admire, incidentally, the selfeffacing temperament of Matthew, for we note how he does not disguise his own former life. In his account he freely adds his own name and his own bad profession, while the other Gospel writers had generously protected him under another name. But why did Matthew himself indicate precisely that he was “sitting at the tax office”? To point to the power of the One who called him, underscoring that he was being actively drawn away from the midst of the very evils in which he was presently engaged and that he had not already abandoned his wicked business as a tax gatherer. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily