Now it happened as Jesus sat at the table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw it they started to ask the disciples why Jesus eat with this kind of people. Jesus heard them and He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Then He said to them, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners in repentance.” What does the Lord meant when He said those words?

From the very words of Jesus we can see the purpose of His coming here on earth. He came for the sick who needs healing and for the sinners to obtain mercy. That is why He was not bothered to have fellowship with people who are spiritually sick and a sinner for it is for them why our Lord came. This is something that the Pharisees do not understand in those days. That is why they cannot accept Jesus as someone that came from God it is because He is with sinners. They are thinking that if Jesus is really the Son of God, The Holy and Righteous One, why is it that He is identifying Himself with something that is defiled and sinful.

It may be true that holiness and righteousness have no part at all with sinfulness. God will not tolerate sin in His glorious presence. But let us understand that if God hates sin yet He loves the sinners. This is the reason why He sent His Son to heal our souls and to save us from sin. He came for the sinners and not for sin itself. He came not for the righteous for there is no one without sin. He came to call for sinners in repentance and for them to repent they need to know God’s mercy.

For them to abandon sin they need to know how and what is to be holy and righteous. This explains why Jesus ate and sat with them that He may able to teach them with all these things. If in the old times God requires animal sacrifices for sin atonement, now what He requires is mercy. Through Jesus death on the cross and a perfect sacrifice for sin, we don’t need to offer animal sacrifices anymore but to offer our lives to Him. What God requires from us is to seek mercy through repentance that we may receive His grace.

It is true that we are warned as Christians not to make yoke with unbelievers but this does not prohibit us to have fellowship with them. We need it to share them about Christ and to teach them about repentance. If Jesus sat and ate with them to do this, then it is something we need also to establish as followers of Him. 


By: Pastor Nick Esguerra