December 21st – Matthew 9:1-13

Spend some time meditating on these verses about sin and salvation. Then, come back and read the commentary, my verse, and my response to God.

  • Request God’s help.
  • Read Matthew 9:1-13
  • Record a verse that stands out to you.
  • Respond to God.

Come back and read the commentary when you’re done.

The paralyzed man and the tax collector had much in common. Both were helpless to save themselves. Both were at the bottom of the social ladder. Both had a miraculous encounter with Jesus. But there are differences as well. For example, the paralyzed man was brought to Jesus by his friends, and the tax collector was personally sought by Jesus. (Praise God for His mercy, grace, and sovereignty!)

Also, the public pronouncement of the forgiveness of sins by Jesus, followed by the physical healing of the paralyzed man, was unique. The one statement, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven,” was a public declaration of His authority to forgive sins, and the scribes knew it. In both accounts, the response was immediate. The paralytic got up, picked up his bed, and then went home, just as Jesus commanded. And Matthew, the tax collector, also rose and followed Jesus. Was that your experience when Jesus called you?

Next, we find Jesus dining with Matthew and other “sinners and tax collectors.” I would hope to be among those sitting at the table, but if I’m honest, I would ask Jesus the same question as the Pharisees. Why them? In my flesh, I see people as different than myself. But Jesus sees His sheep. He knows we are all sick. He knows what we need to be made well. He offers Himself as the antidote to anyone who understands they are sin-sick and desires to be healed.

Before you were saved, would you consider yourself a tax collector or a Pharisee? (There is no right answer; Jesus saves all sinners.)

My Verse: Matthew 9:13: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

My Response: Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6, referring to a time in Israel’s history when their heart was far from God. They technically fulfilled the Law, but their hearts were hard and cold. They worshipped other Gods but failed to love the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Similarly, the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were legalists, performing the duties of the Law but not loving the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength or loving their neighbors as themselves. Oddly enough, Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophet.” (NKJV). So, considering this truth, they were truly breaking the Law.

Father, break my heart over my sin. Expose all my self-righteous, hypocritical tendencies so I can love more like Jesus instead of judging others. Thank You for Your Word, which cleanses, counsels, and leads me to Jesus.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Matthew 9:13 “Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

    Today, Lord, I just want to thank You for Your mercy!


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