TEXT: Matthew 9:9-13
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness. When you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.”
After Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him, and Matthew responds by following Jesus, we are told that Jesus and His disciples shared a meal in a house. While this passage is commonly interpreted to mean that they ate in Matthew’s house, the text here does not say so explicitly. The Greek word translated as “house” can be broadly rendered as many types of buildings, leading some commentators to state that this feast may have very well taken place in a public hall or other accomodation and that scores, and possibly hundreds of folk, came to eat with Jesus. Certainly, with Jesus at the feast, there was no shortage of food and drink.
Briefly, I want to draw your attention to those who CAME TO SIT. Verse 10 says, “Behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.” Jesus’ reputation as a prophet, a miracle-worker, and a holy man would have likely made publicans and sinners hesitant to approach Him. They would have assumed that this Jesus was just like all the other religious leaders they had dealt with. However, the word spread that Matthew, a publican, one of the most hated individuals in Palestine, had been called and accepted by Jesus. When they heard that Jesus embraced Matthew, the lowest of the low, they thought to themselves, “This Jesus is different. There might be a place for me at Jesus’ table.” Thus we read that “many publicans and sinners” came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. Colloquially, crowds are often criticized. However, the crowd in this instance had the right idea. They came running to sit and dine with Jesus.
Now, notice those who CAME TO SEE. Wherever there is a crowd, there are spectators. And verse 11 informs us that the Pharisees came not only to look, but to criticize. “When the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” The Pharisees were always looking for ways to discredit Jesus, and here they saw Him doing something that they found distasteful, something that they themselves would never do — sharing a meal with the outcasts of society, the scum of the earth, the worst of sinners. They asked this question of the disciples for two reasons: First, they did not want to face Jesus themselves as He had proven repeatedly that He was not afraid of them. And, second, they thought they could instigate a revolt among the disciples. But, of course, no matter how quietly they whispered these thoughts, Jesus knew them before they even spoke.
Thus, we must turn our attention to the one who CAME TO SAVE. Verse 12 says, “When Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Jesus, of course, knew that the Pharisees were the sickest of the sick. Only they would not admit it. Thus, Christ’s response is somewhat sarcastic. ‘Why should I dine with you? You don’t need what I have to offer.’ In contrast, the “sick” who Jesus ministered to knew that they were ill and needed a physician. F.W. Farrar said, “While Christ denounced the scribes and Pharisees, He had for sinners only the call of tenderness; to sinners only was His special mission; sinners were His special care; it was the lost sheep over which the Good Shepherd yearned; it was for the wanderers that His heart seemed to burst with tenderness. Thus, He gathered the publicans to His discourses. He sat at their feasts. He chose a publican for His host. He nominated a publican to be His apostle.”
Yes, Jesus made room for publicans and sinners at His table. In fact, the table was made for them. It was made for you — but only if you’re willing to admit that you are sick, that you are lost, that you are desperate. Because the Great Physician came to save.
Charles Wesley wrote:
Jesus, the sinner’s friend, to Thee,
Lost and undone, for aid I flee,
Weary of earth, myself, and sin:
Open Thine arms, and take me in.
Pity and heal my sin sick soul;
‘Tis Thou alone canst make me whole;
Dark, till in me Thine image shine,
And lost, I am, till Thou art mine.
At last I own it cannot be
That I should fit myself for Thee:
Here, then, to Thee I all resign;
Thine is the work, and only Thine.
What shall I say Thy grace to move?
Lord, I am sin, but Thou art love;
I give up every plea beside—
Lord, I am lost, but Thou hast died.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.