There he was with the other publicans, making his profit. His parents were very religious people. It may have troubled them that he chose this despicable profession.
Levi was a Jew essentially collecting taxes for the Romans, working for Herod Antipas, who was the tetrarch of Galilee.
When Christ came to Capernaum, He saw Levi. And Levi saw Him.
After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him,
(When Matthew became a disciple, he was renamed by Christ, as were all twelve.)
When Christ spoke those commanding words to Levi, "Follow me", did he hesitate?
Scripture tells us, he arose and followed Him. Not only did he follow him literally, he invited Christ to his home.
Matthew wrote Christ's teachings of The Great Day of Hiring parable, which is not in the other gospels.
The elements of this parable correspond to the agriculture and enterprises of Jewish vine-growers of that time.
A proprietor having vast land for vineyards would need many laborers; he would not be concerned with expense to hire workers for the evening. The laborers in the vineyards during those times were working at all hours of the day, and there was always work in a vast land such as this landowner had.
He paid his workers very well: those working in the morning agreed to accept the wage of a denarius, a normal wage for the day. Others worked without bargaining for their wages.
The last to come are paid in the presence of all the rest of the workers, and this was intentional so that everyone witnessed the Master's loyalty and fairness.
He made it clear to those who were tempted to think themselves more worthy than others, for being envious of their coworkers, and that they had no reason to speak against him.
(So, you may think, this entire parable is about hiring and wages.)
Matthew grasped the importance of what Christ taught His disciples: Christ spoke more about money than He did about hell. (And who among the four evangelists knew more about money? Matthew.)
You may think, then, that this parable is about The Kingdom of Heaven.
It is, and more.
If we see through the eyes of Matthew, what he wrote as Christ taught, we will understand that the denarius is eternal life. The eleventh hour of hiring is the essence of Grace.
He recruits sinners at the eleventh hour. Those individuals,chosen by the Father and given to the Son, at the end of the day have this opportunity, the miraculous moment of accepting His offer. From the first to the last, all who have been called, and who respond to His call, will be given the day's wage.
Matthew has captured, in Christ's teaching, the doctrine of Grace.
"There is hope for old sinners; for if, in sincerity, they turn to God, they shall doubtless be accepted; true repentance is never too late. There is hope of old sinners, that they may be brought to true repentance; nothing is too hard for Almighty grace to do, not as wages for the value of their work, but as the gift of God. Though there be degrees of glory in heaven, yet it will be to all a complete happiness. They that come from the east and west, and so come in late, that are picked up out of the highways and the hedges, shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at the same feast.
The giving of a whole day’s wages to those that had not done the tenth part of a day’s work, is designed to show that God distributes his rewards by grace and sovereignty, and not of debt. The best of the labourers, and those that begin soonest, having so many empty spaces in their time, and their works not being filled up before God, may truly be said to labour in the vineyard scarcely one hour of their twelve; but because we are under grace, and not under the law, even such defective services, done in sincerity, shall not only be accepted, but by free grace richly rewarded." Matthew Henry