Calling a Publican to Be His Disciple

Date: PM
Text: Matthew 9:9-13
Psalters: 279, 240, 63, 144
  1. Matthew’s call.
    1. About Matthew very little is known; he was one of the least conspicuous of the twelve apostles.
      1. He is “publican,” i.e., a tax collector.
      2. The Pharisees put publicans were in the same class as “sinners.”
    2. Matthew immediately arose, “left all,” and followed Jesus.
    3. Matthew was so grateful to Jesus for this honor that he made “him a great feast” in his own house (Luke 5:29).
      1. This was to honor Jesus, to thank Him for the salvation he was graciously given, and to demonstrate his joy.
      2. He invited a great company of publicans in order to meet Jesus and to urge them to be spiritual followers of Jesus.
  2. The self-righteous Pharisees vent their criticism against the disciples who had chosen such a person to be their teacher.
    1. They wrongly judged the sinners, themselves, and Jesus.
    2. Jesus responds by speaking of His purpose for coming into this world, namely, as the great spiritual Physician.
      1. Jesus explains with the figure of a doctor who has the sick (not the healthy) come to them – they know they are sick.
      2. Jesus does not come for the “righteous,” i.e., those who are righteous in their own eyes.
  3. Jesus declares His purpose for coming into the world: to call sinners to repentance.
    1. Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 which condemns Israel for doing religious duty (sacrifices) without a heart of love for one’s neighbors.
      1. The Pharisees add to their sin by forbidding those who are sick to be healed (18:9).
      2. So Jesus tells these great teachers to go and learn (13a)! They claimed to know it all, but Jesus tells them to study.
    2. “For” - when one truly understands that God desires mercy, then he will know Jesus calls sinners not the righteous.
    3. Jesus’ “call” is the efficacious work of God bringing the elect, regenerated sinners to conscious knowledge of their salvation.