Daily Word

Only the sick need healing | Matthew 9:10-13

10 Then as Jesus was reclining at the table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews] came and ate with Him and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but [only] those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this [Scripture] means: ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], and not [animal] sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call [to repentance] the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to change], but sinners [those who recognize their sin and actively seek forgiveness].”

Matthew 9:10-13 (AMP)

Be Like Matthew

Right after Jesus calls Matthew, we see yesterday that he responds immediately. He “drops everything” to follow Jesus. Is this our experience? Have we dropped everything to follow Him? Have we denied ourselves, taken up our cross to follow Him wherever He goes (Matthew 16:24-26)?

Immediate obedience, immediate service

Matthew goes from immediate obedience to immediate service. Right away Jesus heads to Matthew’s home for a dinner ministry event. And Matthew invites all his friends. He likely didn’t have too many as a despised tax collector so he invited other tax collectors. As we noted yesterday, they were considered the lowest of the low, dreadful sinners.

Religious leaders

It seems these religious leaders were interested in Jesus (Matthew 8:19) but were baffled by, even appalled at His method. Had He no scruples? How could a Jew, especially one claiming to be a teacher, associate with such low life, such sinful people!? So they asked the disciples. And Jesus heard and responded.

Only the sick need healing

The point of Jesus’ message is what? It is the sick who need healing. The AMP version does a nice job of teasing this out of the passage. The people who know they are sick spiritually (the tax collectors and other “sinners”) know to seek the spiritual doctor for help. They can humble themselves to seek help. Those that are proud and consider themselves healthy spiritually won’t humble themselves and ask for help. They aren’t willing to repent and believe.

Where is Repentance?

Until we know we are spiritually sick, give up our own methods of getting well, repent and believe in Jesus, we will remain separated from God. But even followers of Christ are reluctant to recognize and repent of our sin. We keep committing the same sin and believe the lie: “That’s just the way we are. We can’t change. Don’t bother with repentance.” Speaking from personal experience of over 35 years, it separates us from the Holy Spirit who wants to help us overcome our sin and live a holy life.


  • Have you humbled yourself, repented and believed in Christ to forgive you of your sins and reconcile you to God? If not, click here.
  • Are you a believer who’s been ignoring sin in your life? You let it fester like an open wound but just cover it with a piece of proverbial cloth to keep it out of sight? Pray Psalm 139:23-24 to ask God to lovingly show you your sin. Then pray Psalm 51 to ask Him to forgive and restore you. Don’t give up.
Doctor helps poor patients. Image from theweekendleader.com *

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