When Jesus was alive, the Romans, not the Jewish people, ran Israel. The Romans did a lot of awful things, including making the Jewish people pay them money, which is called a tax. Even though Matthew was a Jew and not a Roman, he helped to collect that money from his fellow Jews. That did not make him very popular! Watch this video to see!
(youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZyMPI9kTfw)
I bet I know where this is going Cloë, we talked about this on Sunday with the story of the Lost Sheep. I bet Jesus was ready to be Matthew's friend.
You are partly right Tallulah. But not only did Jesus want to be Matthew's friend, He wanted him to help spread the Good News by becoming one of his Apostles.
He wrote one of the four Gospels that 2000 years later we are still reading and learning from, right Cloë!
Parents here is a link to Matthew's Gospel especially for kids. You will find stories and activities on this site.
Cloë and Tallulah