The name Matthew is a significant one. It means "a gift of God." There is a lot of speculation on how Matthew, the Gospel writer, got his name. I’ll try to limit my speculation except to stress this one point: at the time Jesus first met Matthew (or Levi) only Jesus would have seen him as a gift of God. It certainly didn't reflect what he did for a living. However, Jesus looked at this man and envisioned what he could become—a gift of God in the truest sense of the meaning with some work and love.
We need to be able to make some application from his story in Mark 2. Jesus had the ability to see the full potential in people. Today, as Jesus disciples, we would do well to follow in this example of Jesus. The Bible says Jesus saw a man named Matthew. How often people’s eyes are blinded by prejudice, social bias, or self-interest and they fail to see the person. Instead they see a banker, a school teacher, a policeman, a taxi-driver, a soldier, a realtor, or a CPA. Jesus saw people, not simply what they did. Whatever the outward circumstances are that might disguise us from really seeing a person, Jesus sees people for who they are and what they could be. He said two words: “Follow Me" and if you want eternal life, you follow Him.