Calling of Matthew

The Calling of St. Matthew, by Vittore Carpaccio, 1502.

The Calling of Matthew is an episode in the life of Jesus that appears in all three Synoptic Gospels, Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:13-17 and Luke 5:27-28 and relates the initial encounter between Jesus and St. Matthew.[1]

According to the Gospel of Matthew:

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.[2]

In all three synoptic gospels, this episode takes place shortly after the miracle of Healing the paralytic at Capernaum and is followed by New Wine into Old Wineskins. In the Gospels of Mark and Luke the person called is called Levi and the son of Alpheus.[3]

Also in all three synoptic accounts Jesus is then invited to a banquet, with a crowd of tax collectors and others. The Pharisees then complain:

"Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."[4]

In art

The calling of Matthew has also been the subject of works of art by several painters including:


  1. The Gospel of Matthew by R. T. France 2007 ISBN 0-8028-2501-X page 349
  2. Biblegateway
  3. The life of Jesus by David Friedrich Strauss, 1860 published by Calvin Blanchard, page 340
  4. Biblegateway

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Calling of Saint Matthew.
Calling of Matthew
Preceded by
Hometown Rejection of Jesus,
Physician, heal thyself
New Testament
Succeeded by
New Wine into Old Wineskins
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