Matthew is an incredibly precise and detailed man, who has taken up the job of a tax collector despite cultural prejudices against him, and keeps a running tally of everyone’s debts not only on paper, laid out methodically for his Roman higher-ups, but also in his head. He recalls instantly how much Simon Peter owes him, and trusts that because Simon has proven unreliable in the past, that he is unlikely to fulfill his obligations to the Romans. In this way, past precedent sets firm ideas in his head about who people are, what is and is not appropriate, etc. Which is why he is so shocked when Jesus asks him, of all people, to join the disciples. Through witnessing the miracles of Jesus, he has come to find him interesting and curious, and abandons his job, security, and responsibilities to the Roman Empire, to follow him—showing a low Ne desire to see the world through a different lens, a belief in greater things to come, and an interest in deepening his insights. He keeps careful books full of numbers and accounts, can quickly add up things in his head, and calculates easily how much Simon Peter’s miracle catch is (“This is worth a lot!”). His bluntness comes from logic as well as his Asperger’s Syndrome; he tells his commanding officer he thinks Simon is duping them, and that they cannot trust him to keep his word or deliver on what he promised. He makes most of his decisions based on facts, and is frank about the truth of his low position in society (“You were born a Roman; I chose it. Even my own parents do not speak to me”). Matthew endures the scorn and hatred of others and turns up to work faithfully each day. Though Matthew does not admit it, he clearly regrets losing his parents and his sister, through his life choice – he visits their home for the Sabbath meal, but does not knock on their door or enter, for fear of rejection and their anger. He eagerly responds to Jesus as the first person to show him kindness and ‘want him,’ despite who he is and what he has done.

Enneagram: 1w9 sp/so

Matthew does not like it that Simon is ‘cheating the system.’ He doesn’t want to write off his debt in exchange for a fee Matthew believes he will never pay, so he goes to the Roman in charge of the deal and tells him he made a bad one. He realizes that someone has to collect the taxes, so he will do it, even if it means alienating himself from his family and friends. Though purposeful, honest, and full of integrity for his work performance, Matthew also hates conflict. He takes a dish to his mother’s house over Sabbath, finds them all around the table, and is so afraid of rejection, he shies away at the door without even knocking and spends the rest of the evening eating alone in the street with a stray dog (whom he then takes home). Despite his estrangement from his father, he leaves him the dog as a gift when he goes off to follow Jesus, because “you need him to guard the shop, so thieves do not break in again.”