Luke 5:27

And after these things he went forth, and saw a tax collector, named Levi, sitting at the tax office: and he said unto him, Follow me.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
For by His eating with sinners, He prevents not us also from going to a banquet with the Gentiles. This was the voice of the Devil. This was the first word the Serpent uttered to Eve, Yea has God said, You shall not eat. So they diffuse the poison of their father. But how does God love righteousness, and David has never seen the righteous man forsaken, if the righteous are excluded, the sinner called; unless you understand that at He meant by the righteous those who boast of the law, and seek not the grace of the Gospel. Now no one is justified by the law, but redeemed by grace. He therefore calls not those who call themselves righteous, forthe claimers to righteousness are not called to grace. For if grace is from repentance, surely he who despises repentance renounces grace. But He calls those sinners, who considering their guilt, and feeling that they cannot be justified by the law, submit themselves by repentance to the grace of Christ. But he who receives Christ into his inner cha...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Now St. Luke seems to have related this somewhat different from the other Evangelists. Forhe does not say that to our Lord alone it was objected that He eat and drank with publicans and sinners, but to the disciples also, that the charge might be understood both of Him andthem. But the reason that Matthew and Mark related the objection as made concerning Christto His disciples, was, that seeing the disciples ate with publicans and sinners, it was the rather objected to their Master as Him whom they followed and imitated; the meaning therefore is the same, vet so much the better conveyed, as while still keeping to the truth, it differs incertain words. Hence He adds, to repentance, which serves well to explain the passage, that no one should suppose that sinners, because they are sinners, are loved by Christ, since that similitude of the sick plainly suggests what our Lord meant by calling sinners, as a Physician, the sick, in order that from iniquity as from sickness they should be sav...

Basil the Great

AD 379
He not only gave up the profits of the customs, but also despised the dangers which might occur to himself and his family from leaving the accounts of the receipts uncompleted.

Bede

AD 735
Now Luke and Mark, for the honor of the Evangelist, are silent as to his common name, but Matthew is the first to accuse himself, and gives the name of Matthew and publican, that no one might despair of salvation because of the enormity of his sins, when he himself was changed from apublican to an Apostle. Now by the election of Matthew is signified the faith of the Gentiles, who formerly gasped after worldly pleasures, but now refresh the body of Christ with zealous devotion. ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
For Levi had been a publican, a rapacious man, of unbridled desires after vain things, a lover of other men's goods, for this is the character of the publican, but snatched from the very worship of malice by Christ's call. Hence it follows, And he said to him, Follow me. He bids him follow Him, not with bodily step, but with the soul's affections. Matthew therefore, being called by the Word, left his own, who was wont to seize the things of others, as it follows, And having left all, he rose, and followed him. ...

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
Or, He means that the sound and righteous need no physician, i.e. the angels, but the corrupt and sinners, i. e. ourselves do; since we catch the disease of sin, which is not in heaven.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Here mark both the power of the caller, and the obedience of him that was called. For he neither resisted nor wavered, but forthwith obeyed; and like the fishermen, he did not even wish to go into his own house that he might tell it to his friends. But the Lord honored Levi, whom Hehad called, by immediately going to his feast. For this testified the greater confidence in him. Hence it follows, And Levi made him a great feast in his own house. Nor did He sit down tom eat with him alone, but with many, as it follows, And there was a great company of Publicans and others that sat down with them. For the publicans came to Levi as to their colleague, and a man in the same line with themselves, and he too glorying in the presence of Christ, called them all together. For Christ displayed every sort of remedy, and not only by discoursing and displaying cures, or even by rebuking the envious, but also by eating with them, He corrected the faults of some, thereby giving us a lesson, that every ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
The publican who was chosen by the Lord,

Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
And so from him that received toll from the passers by, Christ received toll, not money, but entire devotion to His company. Or the publican is he who serves the prince of this world, and is debtor to the flesh, to which the glutton gives his food, the adulterer his pleasure, and another something else. But when the Lord saw him sitting at the receipt of custom, and not stirring himself to greater wickedness, He calls him that he might be snatched from the evil, and follow Jesus, and receive the Lord into the house of his soul. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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