National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series

Matthew, also known as Levi, was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the author of the Gospel of Matthew, the first book in the New Testament of the Bible. His story is found primarily in the New Testament, particularly in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. Here’s a summary of his biography with relevant scriptural citations:

1. Background and Occupation: Matthew was a tax collector before he became a disciple of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find Jesus encountering him while he was sitting at the tax booth (Matthew 9:9).

2. The Call of Matthew: Jesus called Matthew to follow Him, and he immediately left his tax collection post to become a disciple (Matthew 9:9).

3. The Twelve Apostles: Matthew was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles, along with others such as Peter, James, and John (Matthew 10:2-4).

4. Matthew’s Feast: After being called by Jesus, Matthew hosted a great feast in his house, inviting many tax collectors and sinners to meet Jesus (Matthew 9:10-11).

5. The Gospel of Matthew: Matthew is traditionally attributed as the author of the Gospel that bears his name. The Gospel of Matthew was written to primarily reach a Jewish audience and emphasizes Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

6. Witness to Jesus’ Ministry: As an apostle, Matthew traveled with Jesus during His ministry, witnessing His teachings, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection.

7. The Great Commission: After Jesus’ resurrection, He gave the Great Commission to His disciples, including Matthew, to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20).

8. Role in the Early Church: Following Jesus’ ascension, Matthew played a significant role in the early Christian community, particularly in spreading the teachings of Jesus.

9. Martyrdom: Although the Bible does not explicitly mention the details of Matthew’s death, tradition suggests that he was martyred for his faith, possibly in Ethiopia or Persia.

10. Legacy: Matthew’s Gospel has had a profound influence on Christianity and continues to be one of the most widely read and studied books in the Bible.

It’s important to note that while the New Testament provides insights into the life and ministry of Matthew, there are limited biographical details about him compared to other biblical figures. Nevertheless, his witness and writings have had a lasting impact on Christianity and the understanding of Jesus’ life and teachings.