Questions & Answers
Sinners Called to Repent
Jesus said in Matthew 9:12,13, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 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." I believe He was saying, "They that are saved need not a preacher, but they that are lost." In other words, not the saved but the sinners need a preacher." For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Hebrews 10:14. Just food for thought in order to get another discussion started. Posie, from Hagerstown, Md.
Hagerstown is not far from where I used to live when I was young, which was just outside Fairfax, VA. I remember visiting there a few times.
That's good food for thought, and what you share emphasizes the reality that if we have the spirit of God we no longer need teachers (aka, preachers). Church history, on the other hand, underscores the belief that the converts are the ones who now need to get fixed. What a denial of God's reality put within those who are his, eh? So-called Christian preachers/teachers have come to believe they have been given the duty of taking the stuff of God and depositing it into their converts/disciples/members and have no clue that the real relation between the teacher and the one who is of God is to stimulate or encourage the reality of the spirit within for a mutual building up. Confidence in their true reality is what those who have been made righteous need. :)
When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. But you go and learn what this means: Ã¢â‚¬ËœI desire mercy, and not sacrifice,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Matthew 9:11-13
I think the situation that brought about Jesus' statement speaks to this whole religious mentality, as it was in direct relation to the religious intimidation of the Pharisees that Jesus answered as he did. The fact is that the Pharisees believed themselves to be the authorities of the truth of God, and that is how they approached the disciples of Jesus. Their question was meant to intimidate. Into this situation Jesus spoke a truth that both undid the whole religious claim to authority as well as giving his disciples an answer that would stick with them when they found themselves confronted by this same religious authority.
The Pharisees already assumed they were the righteous, as declared in the writings of God (the alternative was unthinkable!). They had separated themselves from sinners ... and were very proud to let that fact be known. But if that was so, why were they doing the same things they preached against? They knew what their own lives were like, but they hid behind their supposed authority.
So, here Jesus responds to the Pharisee's question with an answer, including a known scripture, that unveils the intimidating delusion between these so-called authorities and those who stood in fear of them. The Pharisees saw themselves as having no need of God's healing, not because of a sense of sufficiency in God, but in themselves. Those whom Jesus ate with were in the midst of rejoicing over the revelation of the fulfillment of their own need in HIM. The Pharisees meant to destroy this joy because it offended their own system of sacrifice ... and they were not about to let that happen. No, they were not going to let Jesus turn the tables on them so that those regarded as sinners could rejoice in God and they themselves be left out of the party of God. They wanted to nip that bogus idea right in the bud. But what Jesus said only confirmed to all what they feared: God was opening the door, the "unworthy" were going in ... while they would be left standing outside. Impossible!!! But what is impossible with man is possible with God!
When Jesus said, Go learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, it was not some new idea presented to them but was one of the many scriptures they had wrangled with at one time or another. They knew it was there, but had rationalized it away. Their system of sacrifice stood as the supposed entrance to God, and here Jesus has the audacity to use one of those controversial scriptures to undermine their authority. God says, I DESIRE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE! Can't you just hear them seething over this? At the same time can't you hear the witness of God being demanded in view of the Pharisees' intimidation causing an inward rejoicing among those who had always viewed themselves as unworthy? These knew they had been sick, they had come because they saw in Jesus an answer to their sickness.