Matthew 9:12 &13b “When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do.’ Then He added…’For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners’.”
Jesus and his disciples were having dinner with Matthew, who was a tax collector. Of course, the Pharisees didn’t miss an opportunity to be critical and complain to the disciples as to who’s dinner invitation Jesus had accepted. In the Pharisee’s opinion, Matthew and his friends, the other disreputable sinners, were scum and not worth anyone’s time, especially Jesus, but….wait! Hmmm…this situation could be an opportunity FINALLY to prove that Jesus wasn’t who he said he was. So, after complaining to the disciples, but before the disciples had a chance to make any comments or give any answers, Jesus spoke with what is recorded in Matthew 9:12 & 13b. Jesus’ answers always went straight to the core of the issue and he explained it in a way that was….well, it should have been easy to understand, shouldn’t it?
The Pharisees could not see their own blindness, their unrighteousness and quite honestly, their “own hand in front of their face”. They truly thought they were righteous and therefore saw no sin in their lives. Therefore, no need for a Savior. Matthew, on the other hand, knew exactly who he was…it was public knowledge. Everyone knew about those tax collectors. They cheated, stole, “skimmed off the top”; Matthew knew he was a sinner. He felt there was no hope for him, so I’m sure he had reconciled himself to a life of sin.
Then…one day, Matthew met JESUS! Five life-changing words…one day I met JESUS, one day you met JESUS! And the unexplainable happened, eyes were opened and immediately Matthew, me, you…we were aware that as sinners, we had just found our Savior. It really wouldn’t have mattered if the disciples had offered an explanation before JESUS said anything, Matthew wasn’t listening to them. He was only hearing the words of JESUS, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners”. Matthew knew he was a sinner and for the first time, he discovered there was hope for him, there was a Savior. He didn’t have to continue to live as a sinner nor die as a sinner. He had experienced the glorious revelation that Jesus had come to save him from his sins.” From that day forward, Matthew never ceased to follow Jesus.
The glorious news is…we don’t have to cease following JESUS either!
Prayer: Father God, you are holy and just; you are loving and kind; you are patient and never give up on us. Thank you, Father, for your magnificent obsession with your children. As we ponder Matthew’s encounter with Jesus, please remind each of us of our individual encounters with Jesus. Oh, Father, that we would so vividly remember our first encounter with Jesus that we would fall to our knees with the resolve to never cease from following Him.
In the precious and holy name of your only son, Jesus Christ! Amen and Amen