Matthew was a tax collector and hated by the Jews. Tax collectors were not seen as an example to follow.
However, Matthew was an apostle called by Jesus, but what made him different? Consider two reasons.
Committed: The text is explicit: When called by Jesus, Matthew immediately left everything behind to follow. He walked away from security and wealth.
Compassionate: Matthew hosted a great feast for Jesus. He invited what the Pharisees called “tax collectors and sinners.” Matthew wanted all his friends to hear about Jesus.
Not a great deal is known about Matthew, but these two areas make him stand out as an example.