“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.” Matthew 9:11b–12
Listen: Matthew 9
Paul fully understood the sickness of sin hiding underneath righteous living. Once a Pharisee, he had tried and failed to reach God on his own through good works. He tells the Philippians “[I want to be] found in [Christ] not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ… I want to know Christ” (Philippians 3:9-10a).
Jesus bent his ministry toward those who were sick and lost in their sin. When he called Matthew the tax collector to follow him, Jesus went to Matthew’s house. He fellowshipped with him and ate with his friends, Jewish tax collectors people despised for serving Rome and overcharging their own people to get rich.
The Pharisees (who were puffed up in their righteousness) observed Jesus and disdained him for associating with sinful tax collectors. The Pharisees were sinners too, but on a deeper level because they covered their pride with their “good works.”
Matthew knew he was a liar and cheat—but he repented and followed Jesus. Sadly, people attempting to appease God with their religious resume rarely confess they are sick and lost.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Today as you meet with God, remember the gospel is for those who will admit, “I’m sick and lost.” Listen to “Love So Great” by Hillsong and thank Jesus for his saving grace.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.