Matthew 20:1-16
September 20, 2020
Message 0050
September 20, 2020

Matthew 9:9-13 – Feast of St. Matthew

September 21 – Feast of St. Matthew
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Matthew 9:9-13

A. Text/Context

  • Those who are well do not need a physician but the sick do. I desire mercy not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinner. Words of Jesus from Matthew in this gospel
  • Matthew wrote these words many years after, about 80 years after Jesus died. He was already very old when he wrote this
  • And what is striking in this gospel is the very words he used in his writing: Those who are well do not need a physician but the sick do. I desire mercy not sacrifice. I did not come to call the
  • righteous but sinner
  • Definitely his own writings also describe his own self. He is a tax collector named Levi in other gospels Levi and Matthew are one and the same, the tax collector
  • Remember Bartholomew he is also known as Nathaniel. Persons with 2 names are common in their own time
  • This about writing. When you write for example you describe the work of others according to your own mindset. So the very words you write also reflects the very person of who you are
  • Jesus has just called Matthew a tax collector who is working at the customs office at that time to become his disciple
  • As a tax collector Jesus is aware that even though such profession or occupation really reeks with graft and corruption there are still people who did honest to goodness performance in their job
  • And so, he said: I did not come to call the righteous but sinners, not really in the strict sense of a sinner like a criminal but those who are ritually unclean because of the profession
  • I desire mercy not sacrifice because the Pharisees will just make animal offerings and presto they are clean according to the law
  • Even if they did not lift a finger to help the poor so Jesus said I desire mercy not sacrifice
  • Temple offerings have become ordinary rituals they no longer think of the cleanliness of hearts

B. Human Situation

  • Now if we analyze the words of Jesus that he comes for the sinners and not for the righteous or the good people we should not understand this that the good ones are already forgotten
  • The good is already with God, so why would God have to look for them when they already in union with the Lord. So don’t get jealous
  • On one hand, here we now see that Jesus was able to see the goodness of Matthew, even if he is a tax collector or a public sinner by reputation
  • On the other hand, here we now see that Jesus was able to see the wickedness of the Pharisees even though they are identified with the ritual holiness and cleanliness in running the temple

C. Challenge

  • The challenge for us today is that we are reminded that externals are not as important as who we are upon the inside
  • We do not really need to beautify ourselves outwardly to become pleasing before the eyes of God
  • Look at Matthew, he appears so bad on the Pharisees because he collects tax money
  • But Jesus did not see the ugly part of Matthew, Jesus only sees the intention and the motivation of Matthew to be honest even though he is doing a dirty work
  • The reason Jesus called him as one of his disciples. Those who are healthy do not need a physician but the sick does
  • Some of the most honest people work in the most corrupt and graft ridden agency, perhaps for a purpose to witness God’s kingdom
  • We can be very sick externally, but if our hearts beat with love, charity, forgiveness and compassion, then we are healthier than the strongest athlete we ever meet

 

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