You Need a Savior!

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said,“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13)

Jesus’ ministry was and is directed toward all who realize they have a need.

“Pride is an insidious disease of the soul because it can turn even justice and kindness into self-righteous deeds.” -Chuck Swindoll
It is imperative that each one of realize that we all are in the same condition apart from Christ: needy. There are no exceptions. Jesus came seeking to save the lost–be it the banker or the burglar, the brilliant or the base, the businessman or the blasphemer. Luke records these words from our Lord:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

The fact that Jesus associated with tax collectors didn’t settle well with the Pharisees who foolishly fancied their lives as flawless.

“The essence of sin is pride. The heart of sin is independence and the core of sin is demanding my own way instead of God’s.” -Pat Singleterry
They thought it beneath them to associate with the likes of people such as these. Blind to their own folly of their religious pride, they could not accept the fact that Jesus not only reached out to but welcomed those they believed to be far beneath them. No one had greater zeal than they for the mere form of godliness.

We are all on level ground at the foot of the cross. There was and is no one righteous, not even one. We must be aware that pride is an insidious monster, and that monster can come in the form of religious pride. Pride never goes unpunished. A person who believes they are superior to others will eventually experience a downfall. The Old Testament tells us:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12)

I think it precious that Matthew having received the mercy of God is now desirous of his friends to know of this salvation as well. By opening his home, he provided the opportunity for his old associates to come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. True grace is not content to sit alone and eat the morsels of its goodness; it invites others to its limitless bounty. Matthew did what he could. He opened his home and provided lavish hospitality out of his own means. Luke records the incident as follows:

“To show what true religion consists in: not in external observances, but in doing all the good we can to the bodies and souls of others in righteousness and peace.” -Matthew Henry

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. (Luke 5:29)

We grasp Scripture more fully when we not only observe its truth, but apply it to our lives as well. Knowledge alone falls flat–it is love which edifies.

Take It to Heart

“Sin is the sickness of the soul. It is deforming, weakening, disturbing, wasting, and killing, but, we bless God,not incurable. Jesus Christ is the great Physician of souls. Wise and good people should be like physicians to everyone around them; Christ was so. Souls that are sick with sin need this Physician, for their disease is dangerous; nature will not help itself. No mortal can help us; we have such need of Christ that we are eternally ruined without Him.” (Matthew Henry)

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