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I once saw a famous painting that helped me understand the feelings of Matthew on that day. The Call of Saint Matthew, by the Renaissance painter Caravaggio, shows the scene.


On the left side of the painting, Matthew sits at a table, counting coins that he has earned in his work as a tax collector. Matthew is dressed in clothes of fine quality, surrounded by four assistants. In the shadows on the right side of the painting is Jesus. Jesus is pointing to Matthew, calling him to follow, his feet already turning to head for the door. Jesus will not wait.


Matthew has no time to ponder his options. With a coin still in his hand, his face looks surprised, and he gestures as if to say, "Who, ME?" And in the next moment, the tax collector must have tossed that coin, risen from the table, and followed Jesus.

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