Christ Saves Sinners

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist, 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia TN on
March 12, 2017

Matthew_9_9t13.jpgMatthew 9:9-13 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.  [10]  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  [11]  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  [12]  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.   [13]   But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

An interesting truth about the Book of Matthew is that it’s writer was not called to follow Christ up until chapter 9 of the Book. His calling is in Matthew 9:9, just prior to the Pharisees first attack on Christ’s ministry.

I want you to notice the difference in what Jesus said to Matthew,
and in what He said to the Pharisees.

To Matthew, Christ said “Follow Me”

Matthew 9:9 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he SAW A MAN, ..

People think that men wrote the Bible. The Bible says that ..

2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Matthew doesn’t write “Jesus came and saw ME”. He writes as if in the third person. He steps outside ofg himself and writes, as God leads him to write.

Jesus saw A MAN”.
Matthew is but a man.
There is nothing special about him.

Matthew is “A MAN”. It was “a man” that God made from the dust of the ground. It was “a man” that was told

Genesis 2:15-17 (ESV) The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

It was “a man” who ate that which was forbidden. The Bible says:

Romans 5:12 (ESV) … SIN CAME INTO THE WORLD THROUGH ONE MAN, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because ALL SINNED

Sin is upon every man because Adam sinned. Sin spread on the whole world because Adam sinned. Sin is on every man, woman, and child because Adam sinned. Sin is on creation itself, it’s corruption causing disease and death because of Adam’s sin. The Apostle said:

Romans 8:18-23 (NKJV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Sin like oxygen is upon every person, every animal, and every creature on this earth. Why? Because Adam was the steward of perfection, and he surrendered his stewardship to the serpent or Satan. Sin entered the world, and with it brought death and disease and disaster.

Sherry and I came home from Church last Sunday Morning and found a Red Tailed Hawk in our screened in back porch. The thing was HUGE and agitated and pretty frightening. It kept flying into my screens which, to give them credit, never tore loose. I think the creature got in through our little dog door that my pooch Scooter uses. Sherry asked “How are we going to get it out of here?” I opened the screen door and told her “Let’s go eat lunch and leave it alone. It will find it’s way out.” So that’s what we did. When we came out later that afternoon to return to Church the Hawk was still with us, along with THOUSANDS of black feathers on my porch floor. These feathers won’t there before. Feathers and blood dominated my sanctuary. I figured out what happened. The Hawk saw a Crow and, wanting a “Unhappy Meal” the Hawk chased the Crow into the porch through the dog door. When we came home the Crow was in hiding, and we didn’t know it was there. The Hawk knew. When we went into the house Mr. Hawk decided that it was a good time to feed … and the Crow didn’t have a good time.

This is what sin has done to creation. It has brought death and destruction into what should have been perfect. That beautiful red frog is poisonous – do not touch it. That pretty ivy hanging yonder will hurt you – do not handle it. Matthew is “a man” but he is also, like all of us, a sinner.

Matthew 9:9 (KJV)  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, …

Jesus saw a man named “Matthew”.
The name “Matthew” means “a reward”.
This is not Matthew’s given name.

The name Matthew was given at birth was “Levi” which means “Associated, Joined, or Attached To God”. The “Levites” or the Children of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah, were a family that God chose out of the other eleven tribes of Israel to be the Priests of Israel. The Levites received no inheritance of the Promised Land for God was their inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9). When Matthew was born his daddy called him “Levi” – I think – because he hoped his child would be as attached to God as the Levites were attached to God. He wanted his son to grow up holy, righteous, a Child of God.

Levi is now Matthew.
Attached To God” is now “Seeking Reward”.

God should have been his portion. God made us to walk with Him, to learn Him, to know of Him. The reason we are given eternal life is so that we can gain GOD. Jesus prayed:

John 17:3 (ESV) And this is eternal life, that THEY KNOW YOU, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Eternal Life Is Not About WHAT You Get But WHO You Get

Eternal life is about having a relationship with God. Eternal life is walking with God and talking with God and being in God’s presence. Jeremiah said:

Lamentation 3:24 (ESV) “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

and the Psalmist David declared …

Psalm 73:26 (ESV) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 119:57 (ESV) “You are my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep Your words.”

We are given eternal life so that we can walk with an Eternal God,
the Great I AM, the Creator of all.

We are not given eternal life just so we can be without pain – though that is a good benefit. We are not just given eternal life so that we can have a glorified body and live forever – though that is a great benefit! We are given eternal life so that we can forever be with God. That we can know Him and cherish Him and glorify Him.

Matthew should have been Levi, but Levi traded what was best for the lesser. God should have been his reward. Instead, Matthew is off from his family. He is like the Prodigal Son who is eating the food fit only for the hogs. He is like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus saying:

Luke 18:18 (KJV)… Good Master, what shall I do to INHERIT eternal life?

His words are interesting. “How do I INHERIT eternal life?” An inheritance is only given to a relative of the deceased. Jesus told this young man:

Luke 18:22 (KJV) … sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and COME, FOLLOW ME.

How do you have eternal life? You cannot let the things of this world be your reward, your gods, that which you live for. Whatever stands between you and God will damn you forever. Get rid of the gods. Get rid of anything that keeps you from your Creator. “Come, Follow Me” says Jesus.

Matthew 9:9 (KJV) … Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

Matthew was sitting at the “receipt of custom”. He had forsaken his God for earthly riches. But then Jesus saw him, and he saw Jesus. Jesus said “Follow Me” and Matthew immediately got up from that tax table. “He arose, and followed Him.” This is the way of salvation. We get up, get away from what was binding us to this world, and follow Jesus. Matthew Followed Christ To Be Saved.

The Pharisees & Scribes Followed Jesus To Find Fault

Matthew 9:10 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat IN THE HOUSE, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

When Jesus told Matthew “Follow Me”, Jesus went from that place to Matthew’s home. We discover this by looking at the account of Luke, who wrote:

Luke 5:27-29 (KJV) {Jesus} went forth, and saw a publican, named LEVI, SITTING AT THE RECEIPT OF CUSTOM: AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, FOLLOW ME. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And LEVI MADE HIM A GREAT FEAST IN HIS OWN HOUSE: and there was a GREAT COMPANY of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

Jesus went to Matthew’s house. When you are saved, Jesus goes where you live. Has He not promised?

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Christ is not a part time Savior nor a half way Lord. He walks with them who love Him. He went to Matthew’s home, and Matthew HAD A PARTY! Oh, what a great day it is when you become friends with God! Oh what a glory it is to know Christ in God, to know His love, to know He is ever with His people!

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
|Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Matthew was saved by faith in Christ. So he came home with Jesus, threw a party, and invited all of his friends. Guess what?

His friends were sinners!
His friends were fallen tax collectors!
And Jesus sat and ate with them all.

We read:

Matthew 9:11 (KJV) And when the PHARISEES SAW IT, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  

The Pharisees SAW IT. How did they see it? They crashed the party. They came in uninvited, but not to learn of Christ. They came to CRITICIZE. And they did like most of Satan’s emissaries do. When someone is doing the work of Satan, they do not go to the SOURCE. They don’t go to JESUS, but sneak around JESUS and instead go to His DISCIPLES. This is the way the Devil works. He slanders in the darkness, never in the light. He sneaks. He insinuates. And he never goes to the one he is trying to destroy, but goes behind his back, murmuring.

How is it that YOUR Master is EATING – yes EATING with THOSE sinners!”
Doesn’t Jesus know what sort of people He is eating with?

Matthew 9:12 (KJV) But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

The Surgeon cannot stand in a room apart from the one he is operating on. The Doctor must be with the patient if there is ever going to be healing. Our Lord Jesus came to heal the sick. Our Lord Jesus came to save the lost. He said:

Luke 5:32 (KJV) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus came for the sinners. He came for those who are broken. He comes calling them, saying “Follow Me”.

Luke 19:10 (KJV) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

If You Think You’re Not “A Sinner” Then Jesus Doesn’t Say “Come” But “Go”!
If you think that you are right before God Jesus did not come for you.
If you think you’ve got it all figured out, Jesus does not say “Come, Follow Me” to you.

What did Jesus say to these Pharisees?

Matthew 9:13 (KJV) BUT GO YE and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

To Matthew, a sinner repenting Jesus said “Come” but to the self righteous Pharisee Jesus said “Go”. Christ has nothing for you if you think you are right before God. If you read:

Romans 3:23 (ESV) … for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …

and say “Not me. I’m good. I’m ready to meet God!” then Christ has nothing in you. Your righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) but you do not see nor smell your stench. Christ has nothing in you. Jesus says to you who think you are better than others:

GO YE and LEARN what that meaneth, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice”. Pharisee, you know your Bible. Go back to your Bible. Open it up. Look what God wrote in Hosea:

Hosea 6:4-7 (KJV) O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

God wants His people to know Him. God is the Gospel. The Gospel is not about ME, but about HE. I am broken, but He is not. He was broken so that I might be healed. Jesus told the Pharisees “Go and learn. Read the Scripture. Read what God said in the Old Testament”. God does not desire sacrifices, but gave sacrifices for sin so that He could give MERCY.

What does God want of us?
To admit that we are ALL sinners who need Jesus!

The Pharisees – the self righteous – are the WORST sinners. Their sin is worst because they do not see it. It is like the Box Jellyfish in the ocean. They swim to it, embrace it, and die in it. What is good?

Micah 6:8 (KJV) {God} hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Acknowledge your sin. Acknowledge you are a sinner, just as all are sinners. Acknowledge that only Christ can heal you of your sin. Then and only then will you hear Him say “Come, Follow Me”.

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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