Updated: Nov 12, 2020
The Twelve Disciples
Twelve Disciples Bible Study by Douglas Connelly
*The questions used here are adapted from the questions used in Deep Dive*
Matthew is perhaps the most well-known sinner of the twelve disciples. Before becoming a disciple, he worked as a tax-collector, serving Rome in its corruptions and exploitation of their very own people. Tax collectors were really considered to be the “lowest of low”. Matthew’s Jewish name is Levi and is the son of Alphaeus. He is also credited for the first Gospel of the New Testament, but he only mentions himself by name twice in his gospel (Matthew 9 and in when he lists the disciples by name in chapter 10). Matthew is also the first apostle in Judea to write a Gospel of Jesus Christ in Hebrew. While we don’t know exactly how he died, earliest traditions say that he died as a martyr, burned at the stake.
When you read this passage, what is most surprising to you about the encounter with Jesus and Matthew?
What do you think this passage says about Matthew that he was so willing to leave his life behind and follow Jesus?
What do you think others would have told Jesus about Matthew, given his profession as a tax collector?
Why do you think it was important to Jesus’ message to have Matthew, a known sinner, as one of the twelve disciples? What does Matthew being a disciple mean to you and your faith?
After Matthew starts following Jesus, he throws a party, how would you describe his friends?
How do you think Jesus felt being at this party with Matthew’s friends? How do you think you would have felt if you attended a party like this one?
What do you think Jesus meant in his response to the Pharisees?
What exactly what Jesus saying about the Pharisees? Did he think they were healthy or unhealthy?
As Matthew began to follow Jesus and invest in this very different life do you think he may have ever missed his former life and friends? Do you think he may have ever regretted his decision to follow Jesus?
Reflect- Is there something in your life that is distracting you from fully following Jesus? Is there something Jesus is asking you to leave in order to follow him more wholly?