About the Artist
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) was an Italian painter of much renown. Caravaggio leveraged the power of dramatic lighting to accentuate both physical and emotional aspects of the human state in his art. Other Biblical paintings by Caravaggio are ‘The Taking of the Christ’ (1602) and ‘The Entombment of Christ’ (1603).
From The Bible
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”