9 As Jesus continued on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. He said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. 10 As Jesus sat down to eat in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners joined Jesus and his disciples at the table.
11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard it, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. 13 Go and learn what this means: I want mercy and not sacrifice. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13, CEB
(We’re in the middle of a series on sacrifice for people in recovery that starts on Day 1. Get caught up or you may feel lost. The first five days are the groundwork, then the real fun starts.)
In this passage, Jesus gives a rough quotation of the passage from Hosea (the CEB translated the Hebrew word hesed as “faithful love” whereas Jesus says “mercy”. The word hesed implies both things- so think of the word as meaning “faithful loving mercy” rather than trying to choose). In discussing Hosea, we said that sacrifice in and of itself wasn’t the problem, it was disingenuous sacrifice. How does this line up with what Jesus is doing?
Well, let’s start with Jesus first sentence. Do we believe that Jesus believes that the Pharisees (the ones gathered here) are the “healthy people”? No, of course not. Jesus believes that the Pharisees (the ones gathered here) believe that they are the healthy people. So, who, then, are the sick? We’re tempted to say non-Pharisees but this would miss the point. If the “healthy people” are simply the people who think they are healthy, then “the sick people” are the people who know that they need a doctor.
Why is this important? Find out tomorrow.