Chapter XXVI.—Of the Calling of Matthew, and of the Question Whether Matthews Own Account is in Harmony with Those of Mark and Luke When They Speak of Levi the Son of Alphaeus.
59. Matthew next continues his narrative in the following terms:—“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed Him.” 921 Mark gives this story also, and keeps the same order, bringing it in after the notice of the healing of the man who was sick of the palsy. His version runs thus: “And He went forth again by the sea-side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them. And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphæus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed Him.” 922 There is no contradiction here; for Matthew is the same person with Levi. Luke also introduces this after the story of the healing of the same man who was sick of the palsy. He writes in these terms: “And after these things He went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed Him.” 923 Now, from this it will appear to be the most reasonable explanation to say that Matthew records these things here in the form of things previously passed over, and now brought to mind. For certainly we must believe that Matthews calling took place before the delivery of the sermon on the mount. For Luke tells us that on this mountain on that occasion the election was made of all these twelve, whom Jesus also named apostles, out of the larger body of the disciples. 924
Matt. ix. 9.131:922
Mark 2:13, 14.131:923
Luke 5:27, 28.131:924
Luke vi. 13. [This fact shows that the order of Matthew is not chronological. Indeed, as Augustin goes on, he is led more and more to accept the order of the other evangelists.—R.]