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Matthew 9: 9-13

October 7, 2009

Matthew 9: 9-13:  As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Through reading and reflecting on the Bible I am more and more realising that God uses people who are struggling and stressed, who don’t have their lives together, but who are willing to follow Him.

In this amazing passage Jesus chooses Matthew to serve Him, someone who is hated amongst his community as he was a tax collector.  So Matthew knew about stress, he would have known what it was like to struggle and yet Jesus chose him.  He could have chosen someone well liked, someone successful, someone who had there life in order, but He chose Matthew.  Why is that?

Jesus’ answer is:  ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’ Jesus is stating that He is interested not so much in the healthy but those who are sick. Sick doesn’t just refer to someone with a cold etc.. but about the miserable, those who are weak.  The God’s power is revealed through my weakness.  In spite of my flaws and shortcomings, I am able to achieve great things, but not because of anything I have done, but through God working through me.  The glory goes to God!

The Bible page I started on Facebook has just passed 700,000 ‘fans’ and continues to be amongst the top 10 fasted growing pages with vanity URLs on Facebook.  This is not due to me, but God working through me.  To God be the glory for great things He has done!

But more significantly than things like the Bible page, God’ power is revealed in the fact that through Jesus dying on the cross I am saved!  When it says: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  The greek behind ‘mercy’ refers to the salvation offered through Christ’s death and resurrection.

What an amazing encouragement!  As I struggle, Jesus’ power will be revealed; but much more, in turning to Christ, in admitting my sin and seeking to draw close to Him, Christ’s power is revealed!

Praise God!

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30 Comments
  1. Thanks I needed to read that.

    • Teresa Crewe permalink

      Thanks that was so for me. Was feeling a little down today. please keep me in your prayers in much need of a job. Thanks and may God Bless you. Teresa

      • Steve Gill permalink

        Teresa…

        God will help you to get that job! Stay in His Word and in His Arms Today. It will be OK. He promises.

  2. Pete permalink

    Because we struggle it can be hard to draw close to Him. We think I can’t do that I don’t have it all together. In our minds, if we do have it all together it will be ‘easier’ for us to draw close to God. The problem with this is that we are drawing near on our terms. God’s terms are that we draw near despite of what we have done, despite our situation and despite having our life together. Afterall, it is Jesus who truly ‘puts’ our lives together, in the creation of us to the creation of new opportunities in our lives. If we draw near to God ‘with’ our struggles, I totally agree: Christ’s power is revealed

    • Toots permalink

      So true. When we are weak He is strong. If I have it all together, I work in my power not His.

  3. Pete permalink

    Because we struggle it can be hard to draw close to Him. We think I can’t do that I don’t have it all together. In our minds, if we do have it all together it will be ‘easier’ for us to draw close to God. The problem with this is that we are drawing near on our terms. God’s terms are that we draw near despite of what we have done, despite our situation and despite not having our life together. Afterall, it is Jesus who truly ‘puts’ our lives together, in the creation of us to the creation of new opportunities in our lives. If we draw near to God ‘with’ our struggles, I totally agree: Christ power is revealed! through our weakness before Him.

  4. Toni permalink

    Thank you for this passage and commentary tonight. I have been struggling and stressing a great deal in the last 2 years. My husband had to have a second brain surgery to remove a benign cyst. Since that time he has been unable to hold a regular job, due to residual affects of the surgery mentally. It has been really tough. God has placed different people in our paths during that time that have helped us in various ways. I know He is the ultimate physician and banker, but sometimes I get so caught up in my own stress that I tend to forget to let Him take the reigns and do it His way.

    • Steve Gill permalink

      Your husbands health issues are a way for you to show God’s Love even as Life gets incredibly difficult. I can only IMAGINE your situation and how hard it is…. but at the same time…. I see God working through you by opening up and being honest about your situation. You still LOVE GOD… and that is the TRUE witness of your situation. Thanks for sharing. If you need a brother and sister, my wife and I are always here to pray for you!

  5. Gwendolyn Kirby permalink

    That was good…thanks…and God bless you for doing this ministry…

  6. I just wanted to comment on the calling of the unrighteous. I recently read a book, ‘When God whispers your name’ by Max Lucado, and he says in the book that God doesnt call the qualified, he qualifies the called. This has proven so true in my life and I had to share. My past is marked with mistakes that have made several people give up on me, but God has never given up. He is never surprised by my actions, as he already knows what and when I am going to do. I am very Thankful that you post these Bible passages and help us grow deeper in God’s word. Thank you for your good works. 🙂 Blessings to you, Nicolle, Lincoln, NE

    • Steve Gill permalink

      Amen sister. And I LOVE THAT BOOK. Read it…. and Max has another great book for you “GOD CAME NEAR”…. one of my favorites. Keep the faith Nicolle. Steve, Suffolk, VA

  7. Robert permalink

    Thank you so much for this message. It was exactly what I needed to hear today.

  8. Jessica Hughes permalink

    I enjoy reading your verses everyday this one in particular gave me hope though. There’s a lot going on right now and I’m struggling to follow God, and when it comes to reading the Bible well I don’t know where to begin there’s some books I’ve read over and over like Proverbs and Ruth but I struggle to go further and with how to use it in my life. Because I’m struggling with this I’m afraid sometimes God’s not happy with me or he’s not there. This verse gave me a little bit of hope. Thankyou

    • Antoinette Summers permalink

      I hope this helps but some times we read passages and latter we have them opened up to us in time of need. I have read the bible through more than once but it always is being opened up to me. It is a book that is not able to be exhausted ever. You will keep growing in knowlege and depth so take courage and don’t quit. God loves it when his children read his word. He isn’t mad at you for doing so. Remember it is a growth so walk in what you do know. I love Ruth it is a awsome story of how God places his people and uses them even the lowly orphan girl. God’s plans for us is always bigger than we can imagine. =-) Sincerly your Sister in Christ Jesus,~Antoinette~

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      Jessica …. I truly do know how you feel about struggling and reading the Bible …. we all get to a point that we don’t know what to read or where to begin reading in the Bible. I have been under a black cloud many times … and you know it’s there but you can’t put your finger on exactly as to what it is …. and you wonder why? what is it? what did I do wrong? … but know that it is of the devil and he is trying his best to distract you from anything to do with or for God. There have been days that I could read the Bible for 8 hours non-stop with no food or drink. But there have also been weeks that I did not even read my Bible, not because I did not want to but because “something” was blocking my path. I have found that I must find “a scripture” to hold on to during those times; one that I can memorize and hold deep inside my heart; repeat it out loud over and over again ….. and then suddenly the cloud is lifted, gone for now. God watches over his children. Jesus loves you so much and he knows the motives of your heart; he knows you are struggling, and he is right here waiting to help you. Love covers a multitude of sin. Walk in love everywhere you go. Let Jesus flow from your heart.

      I pray that God will reveal to you his plan for your life, as he leads you onward in this journey of your life. I pray for strength for you to continue onward, to continue inward and deeper into God’s Word. I pray that God will give you Jeremiah 33:3 revelations. In Jesus’ name, AMEN! I thank God for you and for the mighty works God will do through you! God bless you and every work of your hands.

      Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

      My favorite: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” ….. this one has truly helped me through many struggles.

    • Steve Gill permalink

      Hello Jessica….
      The one thing that The Holy Spirit is speaking to me right now is about something that happened in my own life when I was in a similar situation. I hope this helps. We had just lost our son at Disneyworld for 3 hours right before Christmas. My wife ran around the park looking for him (Like she should have) and I stayed where he first got lost with the other two kids and we prayed (Like I should have). Well…. Nicholas came back to us and needless to say, It was a crazy experience. I was so scared and of course, many stupid things ran through my brain, even when I was praying with the kids. Two days later we were driving home and a guy was on the radio talking about God and everyone else in the car was asleep. He Said “I hate New Years Resolutions”. I turned up the radio because I felt the same way and he continued “But if I had a One Years Resolution to make it would be to read the whole Bible in one years time”. WOW…. since everyone was asleep,… I knew that he was talking directly to me. So that is exactly what I did. I was so blessed for this. God expects discipline… but know that He loves you whether you read the bible or not. Like any good father, He doesn’t want his children to get lost in the world, but when they come back to Him, he will be waiting with open arms just like I was waiting for Nicholas when he was found at Disney. Jessica…. when the Israelites were in the desert for those 40 years, he gave them Manna every morning but they only got enough for the day. If they tried to save any for another day it would be spoiled. My point is…. just take a little bread (Word) for today. It will be enough. He promises. Love …. Your Brother Stephen.

  9. Cathy permalink

    Praise God…..I am at a point in my journey, that I really needed to hear your awesome revelation!! It answers many questions, and realeases a lot of freedom!!
    Thank you for the diligent study you put into the Bible!!

  10. Robin Hebert permalink

    I second that. I tend to struggle with so many things. Just tonight I was crying out for deliverance. Your post helped me remember that God uses me despite my shortcomings…and will bring deliverance as well.

  11. Dean permalink

    im new to this thing. But praise God for it. This is something that will help me out a ton.

  12. Kim Wilson permalink

    Thank you. I needed that.

  13. Thank you for your insight on scripture. I enjoy reading them. It starts my day right with the Lord. Keep it up. You are a blessing. Praise God!

  14. Jeff permalink

    Thank you for bringing to light something that I have known for years but struggle with it daily. God is Good!!!!

  15. Daryl Oliver permalink

    Thank! Keep the Faith!

  16. Tim Barnett permalink

    thanks for that passage it’s real inspiring to see the words that have read though i been struggling my whole life wanting to get my life together and wanting to do god’s will though i am weak but god is working with me and the days are getting brighter all you have to do is have faith even when things are good or bad and that had god died on that cross sacrificing us so we can have a chance at a fruitful life …..Amen

  17. JJohnson permalink

    Thank you Jesus for providing us with the wisdom of Rev. Mark.

    Thank you to MaryMarthaKay for your inspiring words today. I struggle time to time as well and your words are a comforting reminder that God is by our side, always, even when we are faced with other opportunities that are not of spirit but of man.

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      Thank you JJohnson for your kind words. God Bless you!

  18. Steve Gill permalink

    Praise God for everything He Is DOING and will always Do with those He has created. The Glory is His!!!!! We are so small, yet with Him we can take on the Goliath’s of the world by using His Word as a Loving Sword. Even us weaklings can help the Living God to get His work done here on earth….. as it is in Heaven. Continue to give us our Daily Bread through Mark’s Ministry. We pray that you would give him all the provision he needs to continue to help Your Children here on earth. Thank you Lord. We love you!!!!!

  19. Reba Barlow permalink

    Thank you for the conformation of what God has been telling me. I have been struggling with health issues for a long time. In my study this morning of Jerimiah 18:1-10 – God takes Jerimaih to the potter’s house and lets him know that God is the potter. Unfortunatley the clay He uses has a choice whether they will conform or not to His will. When we sin against us…He lets us go, but when we repent He begins shaping again. I also took a look at Isaiah 29:16 where God reminds us that He is the potter and He does know what He is doing…though we may not think He does.
    This was in the Upper Room and the girl doing the devotion for the day wrote about not wanting to conform to the will of God, afraid He might make her an ashtray when she wanted to be a disigner bowl. Realizing that the designer bowl was pretentious she thought maybe a serving tray and God might make her a chamber pot instead.
    With that I cried out to God thinking…Lord, I know you don’t want to make anyone an ashtray…what glory could be brought to you in that…it just allows the sinner to continue sinning. And I heard…Some people use for an ashtray something that was meant to do something else….as I was. Not to get into how and how that brought me in to committing sin also…let me just say the marks left on me were ugly and others thought it made me unusable by God or anyone. Well, God reminded me that He is the potter and in His capable hands He can clean me up, remove the marks, and make me useable again…and even useable during my “healing crisis.” I love being in His hands and I love the people He people He uses to bring healing to me…including all of you. I pray I will bring healing to others during and after my crisis. I want to be a vessel used for His glory alone.
    Remember – HE IS THE POTTER BUT YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Choose to allow Him to form you into the vessel of His will.
    To God be the glory!!!

  20. Geri permalink

    Thanks so much for those much needed words. It sometimes takes listening to a stranger, to understand our own lives and miseries. Jesus does, INDEED, work through us.

  21. Marvi Victoria permalink

    God spoke to me through this. I need words like these a lot. Thanks.

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