Matthew

Matthew 9:9 – 13

Matthew the Tax Collector
Is called to follow Jesus
And immediately he does

This is Matthew retelling
His own story
His own calling
And acceptance by Jesus

“Now it happened,
as Jesus sat at the table in the house,
that behold, many tax collectors
and sinners came and sat down
with Him and His disciples.”
(Matthew 9:10)

I loved this verse when I read it
“Many Tax Collectors AND sinners”

Matthew puts “Tax Collectors”
Along with sinners
Yet makes a distinction between
The two

Matthew does NOT consider
“Tax Collectors” to BE sinners

Yet he is well aware that others
DO

Otherwise he might have said:
“There were many sinners
Some of whom were Tax Collectors”

Remember what I have said before
“The truth is in the details”
Quoting Stephen King

Pay attention to what is written
And how it is written
Things are being said that we can miss
By rushing through a passage
To get to the bit we want to get to

And so the Pharisees sneer
When they see Jesus sitting
With Tax Collectors and sinners
And question why He does

“When Jesus heard that,
He said to them,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick.
But go and learn what this means:
‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’
For I did not come to call the righteous,
but sinners, to repentance.””
(Matthew 9:12 – 13)

That first statement seems so obvious:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick.”

When anyone is sick in their body
They GO to a Doctor

There is no need to dig further
Into this saying
It is CLEAR to see

Don’t go looking for something
That isn’t there

BUT…
“go and learn what this means:
‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ “
Jesus tells them

Jesus is talking to the Pharisees
Who have sneered at Him
For sitting and associating with
Tax Collectors and sinners

Jesus desires MERCY and not sacrifice

God’s heart is to FORGIVE

The Pharisees had a “form of” righteousness
“SELF-righteousness”

TRUE righteousness enables us to
Stand before a Holy God
Without fear but in FULL acceptance
By Him

And this kind of righteousness
Is ONLY avaiable IN and through Jesus

We receive this righteousness
When we accept and believe in Jesus

He took our sin on the cross
Granting us forgiveness and mercy
And gave us His righteousness
By Grace

The Pharisees (and many of us)
Look and declare what they have done
“I am righteous by what I have done MYSELF”

We need to be careful
That we humble ourselves and accept Jesus
Rather than be proud and declare
How good we are, of ourselves

This is where the Pharisees were wrong

They kept the Law
And saw that keeping the Law
Was what God wanted
And forced others to do the same

Jesus came to set us FREE
From our own efforts
And give us what ONLY He can give

Will you believe and receive?
From Jesus
Or will you doubt and do without?
Because of your pride
And how much you value your own efforts

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