Encouragement for your daily walk with God
The Pharisees watched Jesus as He interacted with the people of His day. They just could not come to believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They didn’t recognize Him as the Promised One who would rescue them from sin’s curse and give them total victory over their enemies. In other words, they rejected Him as Messiah.
To prove their point, they proffered Jesus’ activity of having a meal with people of ill-repute, tax collectors and the like—sinners. In their twisted logic, if Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One, He would know the kind of people He was associating with, and would avoid them like the plague.
Jesus would have none of that. He answered His critics with a healthy dose of logic, “Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do.” Those pious Pharisees considered themselves to be healthy, spiritually speaking, because they strived to live good lives through the sacrifices of the Law. They had no need of a Savior. At least they didn’t think they did. So Jesus wasn’t much help to them. He couldn’t help them because they would not acknowledge their guilt before God.
Since they were knowledgeable of the Scriptures, Jesus quoted one. It was penned by the prophet Hosea, “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices” [Hosea 6:6]. That was the solution to their sin problem, and ours too. The Messiah shows mercy to those who sincerely admit their sin and trust Him to save them from eternal separation.
Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. That’s me, and you too. That’s our Jesus—a wonderful Savior.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12 When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 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.” Matthew 9:10-13