My dear brothers and sisters, have you ever wondered what does Jesus mean in Matthew 9:13 when He says “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”?
Remember when the Pharisees saw Jesus mingling with sinners and tax collectors they were outraged and questioned him as to why He would associate himself with these despicable “lowlifes” of society. Yet Christ was undeterred by their hypocrisy.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” – Matthew 9:12-13
To seek Christ is to also acknowledge the fact that we are in no way perfect. In our daily struggle with life’s many hardships, we are often prone to making mistakes. We stumble, falter, and at times fall completely, crushed under the weight of our shortcomings and sins. Our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom and compassion, does not discard us in these moments of weakness but instead seeks us out in our frailty, calling us to repentance.
God as the Divine Physician
The metaphor of Jesus as a divine physician presents a beautiful image of God’s compassion and love. He does not stand at a distance, detached and unmoved by our pain but rather endeavors to draws near to us, offering healing to the wounded, comfort to the brokenhearted, and mercy to the repentant sinner.
He is Love incarnate and knows that sin is a sickness of the soul. Like a tender-hearted doctor He does not condemn the patient but strives to heal them, to restore them to their former health and wholeness. As you read these words my dear, know that God’s intention was never to dispense judgment upon His children, but to ensure their salvation by reconciling with Him through his beloved son.
The righteous who believe themselves to be well, may not recognize their need for the Great Physician. But those who are spiritually sick, those who can see their own brokenness and the despair that sin has wrought, will hear His call and seek His healing touch.
Walking the Path of Humility
As love flows unbridled from the heart of Jesus, you must also be careful not to exercise judgment onto others like the Pharisees. Though you have been called by Christ, it does not mean that we are “better” or “morally superior” to others that are stuck in the ways of sin. It is our job to coax them from the snares of the devil, and to allow them to experience the unfailing love of God.
For the reason they are stuck in this banality of sin is because they have yet to experience the redemptive grace of God and His authority in their lives. This is our mission beloved brothers & sisters. Spread love and not hatred or judgment of others, and you shall have secured your place in the Kingdom of the Lord.
Jesus’ call to the sinners is a call to humility. It is an invitation to acknowledge our own spiritual poverty, to recognize our need for His love and forgiveness. The self-righteous might be blinded by their pride, failing to see their own need for God’s healing grace. But those who acknowledge their sins, who humble themselves before the Lord, are the ones who will experience His life-changing love.
Love and Charity: The Twin Pillars
The words of Jesus inspire us to embrace love and charity as the twin pillars of our lives. We are called not only to seek personal redemption but to reach out to the marginalized in our society – the homeless, the addicts, the abused, the rejected. We are called to sow seeds of love instead of judgment, to be patient and understanding, just as God is with us.
As followers of Christ we must embody His merciful and compassionate nature. We must embrace the less fortunate, offering them the love of God not only in words but through our actions.
A Prayer of Surrender to God
O Divine Physician, healer of our souls, we come before you acknowledging our spiritual sickness.
At times we stray from the path of righteousness, and yet in Your infinite mercy You have called us to repentance.
Help us to embrace our brokenness and to seek Your healing touch.
May we, like Saint Francis, learn to love those who are less fortunate.
Let us be a beacon of kindness and understanding, and to see in them the face of Christ.
May we always remember Your words, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” and let them guide us in our journey towards holiness.
Saint Francis, pray for us that we may reflect the love of Christ in our daily lives, bringing hope and comfort to those in need.