And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said to him, Follow me.…
I. CHRIST CALLS.
1. We cannot tell what preparation may have been previously made for this abrupt summons. If Matthew was son of the Alphaeus elsewhere named, then his connection with our Lord would account for it.
2. In any case we are sure that our Lord's appeal was reasonable. Resting on grounds intelligible to St. Matthew.
3. The call involved sacrifice. He was following a lucrative calling, and he had to abandon it.
4. Our Lord's calling is always substantially the same.
(1) It bids us leave the world.
(2) It bids us follow Him. Whatsoever is inconsistent with a close earnest following of Him must be abandoned.
II. MATTHEW OBEYS. Mark the brevity, yet sufficient fulness, of the account given. This was all that was required of him, and he did it.
1. Great difficulties lay in his way.
(1) His manner of life.
(2) The peculiar character of his employment.
(3) Perhaps also acquired habits in connection with his employment.
2. Yet his obedience was ready and prompt.
(1) No rashness. He certainly knew what our Lord asked, and what he was bound to render. Christ repressed those who came thoughtlessly.
(2) On the other hand, no vacillation or hesitation.
III. THE REALITY OF HIS ADHESION TO CHRIST. This was shown —
1. By the evident sacrifice he made. An example to all who hear Christ's voice, and follow Him. No royal road to perfection. Jesus by suffering conquered, and all who follow Him must enter into the spirit of sacrifice.
2. By his seeking for Christ's communion. He "made Him a great feast."
(W. R. Clark, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and said to him, "Follow me!"