Levi the tax collector (Lk 5:27-5:27)

“After this,

Jesus went out.

He saw a tax collector,

Named Levi,

Sitting

At the tax booth.

He said to him.

‘Follow me!’”

 

Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξῆλθεν, καὶ ἐθεάσατο τελώνην ὀνόματι Λευεὶν καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

The call of Levi or Matthew follows the story of the paralytic healing in all three synoptic gospels.  Luke said that Jesus went out (Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξῆλθεν), presumably in Capernaum.  There he saw a tax collector (καὶ ἐθεάσατο τελώνην), named Levi (ὀνόματι Λευεὶν), sitting at the tax booth (καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον).  He said to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Mark, chapter 2:14, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  However, there are some significant differences.  Matthew called this man Matthew instead of Levi, his Jewish name.  Luke also followed Mark in calling him Levi.  Matthew and Luke did not mention his father, but Mark did.  It was strange that if this Matthew the apostle was the author of this gospel, why he did not mention the name of his father.  Both Matthew and Mark said that Jesus was walking along, when he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, or Matthew, sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth.  Jesus simply said to him to follow him.

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The call of Levi (Mk 2:14-2:14)

“As Jesus was walking along,

He saw Levi,

The son of Alphaeus,

Sitting

At the tax booth.

He said to him.

‘Follow me!’

He got up.

He followed him.”

 

καὶ παράγων εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ

 

Luke, chapter 5:27-28, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  However, there are some significant differences.  Matthew called this man Matthew instead of Levi, his Jewish name.  Luke followed Mark in calling him Levi.  Matthew and Luke did not mention his father, but Mark did.  It is strange that Matthew did not mention the name of his father.  Jesus was walking along (καὶ παράγων), when he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus (εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου), sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth (καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον).  Jesus simply said to him (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Then Levi got up and followed him (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ) without any need to explain why or how he was doing this.  At this point in the gospel of Mark, as in the other gospels, Levi was the 5th named apostle after the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and the brothers James and John.

The call of Matthew (Mt 9:9-9:9)

“As Jesus was walking along,

He saw a man

Called Matthew.

He was sitting

At the tax booth.

Jesus said to him.

‘Follow me!’

He got up.

He followed him.”

 

Καὶ παράγων ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκεῖθεν εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, Μαθθαῖον λεγόμενον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ.

 

This saying about the call of Matthew is similar to Mark, chapter 2:14, and Luke, chapter 5:27-28, but there he was called Levi, his Jewish name, and not Matthew.  Also, the other stories mention his father, but not here.  It is strange that if this Matthew the apostle was the author of this gospel, why it was not mentioned here.  Jesus was walking along (Καὶ παράγων ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐκεῖθεν), when he saw a man called Matthew sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth (εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, Μαθθαῖον λεγόμενον).  Jesus simply said to him, “Follow me!” (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Then Matthew got up and followed him (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ) without any need to explain why or how he was doing this.  At this point in the Matthew gospel narrative, he is the 5th named apostle after Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John, the first individual without a brother follower.