Where Did Jesus Call the Disciples Matthew?

Jesus called many disciples during his lifetime, each with a unique story and background. One of the most well-known disciples is Matthew, who was a tax collector before meeting Jesus.

But where did Jesus call Matthew? Let’s explore the biblical accounts to find out.

The Call of Matthew

The call of Matthew is recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In all three accounts, Jesus sees Matthew sitting at his tax booth and tells him to follow him.

Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV) describes the event as follows:

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.

11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

The Location of the Call

While all three accounts record that Jesus called Matthew while he was sitting at his tax booth or table (depending on translation), none of them specify where this booth or table was located.

However, it is likely that it was in or near Capernaum since both Mark 2:1 and Luke 5:27 mention that Jesus was passing through Capernaum when he saw Matthew. Capernaum was a fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and was an important center for Jesus’ ministry.

The Significance of Matthew’s Calling

Matthew’s calling is significant for several reasons. First, it demonstrates Jesus’ willingness to call anyone, regardless of their occupation or social status. Tax collectors were often despised in Jewish society because they collected taxes for the Roman occupiers and were known to extort extra money from their fellow Jews.

Second, Matthew’s calling serves as a reminder that Jesus came to call sinners, not the righteous. This message is reiterated in Matthew 9:13 and highlights Jesus’ mission to save those who are lost.

Finally, Matthew’s response to Jesus’ call is an example of immediate obedience. He gets up from his tax booth and follows Jesus without hesitation. This demonstrates a willingness to leave behind his old life and embrace a new one with Christ.


While we may not know the exact location of where Jesus called Matthew, we do know that his calling was significant in demonstrating Christ’s love for all people and his mission to save sinners. May we also have hearts like Matthew’s that are willing to leave our old lives behind and follow Jesus wherever he may lead us.

  • References:
  • Anne Graham Lotz (2014). “Where Did Jesus Call Matthew?”

    Retrieved from https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/where-did-jesus-call-matthew.html

  • “Capernaum.” Retrieved from https://www.bibleplaces.com/capernaum/