Today’s Tasting: Matthew 9; Luke 7
This chapter opens with Jesus having dinner at Matthew’s house with His disciples, tax collectors and sinners.
11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [Matthew 9:11-13 NIV]
Jesus continues to expose Himself to his people in the following chapters; people from all parts of society and walks of life. The Pharisees continue to question Jesus’ associations.
Jesus performs miracles multiple times in this chapter.
He restores a girl to life:
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. [Matthew 9:22]
He heals a blind man and a mute:
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored.
While Jesus goes through the towns and villages teaching, he refers to the people as a ripe harvest. He asks his disciples to pray for the people. [Matthew 9:35-38]
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Today’s Nourishment: Jesus’ compassion and love is deep for all souls. He consistently heals, blesses, and teaches people from every walk of life. His concern is not only for those with status; those who are moral, powerful or rich. He is our shepherd and we are all His sheep.
I especially like the verse in Matthew 9:12 where Jesus says “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Those who are sure that they are righteous can’t be saved because the first step in following Jesus is acknowledging our need and admitting that we don’t have all the answers.
A sermon was given at my church recently that spoke about being an example of love and not judgement. My pastor said, let us all accept and acknowledge that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Only then can we be the loving, supportive and needful community that is so important to be a part of as a follower of Christ.
Jesus tells the Pharisees, who question why he is spending time with the “lowlifes” of their society, I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Again in Luke 9:36-50, Jesus forgives a sinful woman because of the faith she had that He was the Savior and her humble acknowledgement [tears, kisses and cleaning of Jesus’ feet] that she needed Him.
I pray that we can show our need and love for our Savior in a new way today. You are important to Him!
Salt Lake City, UT