Times had become so bad there was only one profession that was universally hated- the profession of tax collector. Even in difficult times the government still needed money to operate. The people were fed up with its own government policing the world and involving itself in affairs citizens deemed unnecessary. Taxes had become more than just an annoyance. Paying taxes was like holding a second job. Society and government was nothing like we know today.
Matt was a revenue officer trained by the best. He was smart, reserved and keenly aware of his surroundings. He seemed to instinctively know what others were thinking. You could not cheat Matt. If you tried, you would surely hear from the authorities.
For most people, times were so bad that transportation requirements were simply how far your feet would take you. If you were lucky, you might own an animal like a horse or in some regions of the world, a camel.
Criminals had almost taken over in the countryside and most intelligent people did not even attempt to venture out at night. However, Matt was a large man and fluent in many languages. He was confident if unlawful residents crossed him, he could protect himself not only in the physical sense but with his silver tongue. Those who knew him were afraid of him. Behind his back some called him the “silver tongued devil.”
One day when Matt was sitting outside in a chair near his office, he was surprised by a face he had not seen before. The man spoke to him. At first Matt thought he might be talking to someone else. Then the man spoke again.
The man said, “Arise and follow me.”
Matt was taken aback, yet he felt an imposing company about him. It was a sense of calm like nothing he had ever experienced. A serene breeze crossed his face. A composed hush silenced the crowd surrounding Matt. A tranquil tone was heard. It was not perceived by others. Matt looked around and without hesitation, he pulled some money out of his lock box and handed it to a stranger.
Then Matt said, “I must follow this man.”
Matt later wrote about his travels with a man named Jesus. If he had not left his table and followed Jesus, no one would even know that Matthew wrote the first book of the New Testament.Today, Matt is a part of the most popular book ever written. Working for a higher power and being a part of the Bible sure trounces being just another government employee.