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.…
Some years ago I remember having my notice drawn by a little picture that hung in the window of an Oxford book-shop; it was a simple German lithograph, and it represented the call of Matthew. I do not know the name of the artist, but he seemed to me to have caught the whole spirit of the scene. In the centre was Matthew himself, eagerly leaving his booth, with treasures of untold money lying untouched on the counter for his helpers to reckon. Before the booth was the crowd of fishers and traders entering the seaside city, almost aghast at the sudden leaving of the business by one till then so strict in all his dealings with them, so ever ready to receive tribute. And just behind appeared a company of Christ's disciples, not altogether unwondering at so ready a departure from all that wealth; half sorry for sacrifice so great; and yet half feeling, from what little they had learnt already of the Master, that He was worth the sacrifice. And in front was the Christ Himself, patient, tender, calling, waiting — the Lord of all, knowing calmly how life in the Father's kingdom was worth any earthly sacrifice, that the Father could yet give to His own all they ever might have need of.
(T. Gascoigne, B. 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.