Matthew, a 1st Century Gallilean, probably born in Galillee, before becoming a disciple was a tax man who left his well paid job to follow Jesus. He was also known as Levi (Matt 9:9-13). The Gospel of Matthew is attributed to him. Matthew may have collected taxes from Hebrews for Herod Antipas. Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus’ calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve.
As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek. After his call, Matthew invited Jesus to his home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)
The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room (Acts 1:10–14) and after Jesus’s ascension Matthew and his fellow disciples remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.