Which Disciples of Jesus Were Tax Collectors?

When we think of the disciples of Jesus, we often imagine fishermen and other ordinary people who left everything behind to follow Him. However, there were also a few tax collectors among them.

Tax collectors were despised in Jewish society because they worked for the Roman government and often exploited their own people for personal gain. In this article, we will explore which disciples of Jesus were tax collectors.


One of the most well-known tax collectors in the Bible is Matthew. He was also known as Levi and was the son of Alphaeus.

In Matthew 9:9-13, we read about how Jesus called him to be a disciple while he was sitting in his tax collector’s booth. Matthew immediately left everything behind and followed Jesus.

Matthew is also credited with writing one of the four Gospels that bear his name. His Gospel is unique because it emphasizes Jesus’ teachings on righteousness and the Kingdom of God.


While Zacchaeus is not listed among the twelve apostles, he is still an important figure in the New Testament. He was a chief tax collector who lived in Jericho and had become very wealthy by taking advantage of his own people.

In Luke 19:1-10, we read about how Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus as He passed by. Jesus saw him and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner. During their conversation, Zacchaeus repented of his sins and promised to give half of his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he had cheated four times over.


In conclusion, Matthew and Zacchaeus are the two tax collectors mentioned by name in the Bible who also became followers of Jesus Christ. These men were transformed by their encounter with Him and became faithful witnesses to His teachings.

Their stories remind us that no matter how far we have strayed from God, there is always hope for redemption and a new beginning. As we seek to follow Jesus, we can also be inspired by their example of repentance, faith, and generosity towards others.