Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 22, 2018


Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 9:9-13.

“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth;  and He *said to him, “Follow Me!”  And he got up and followed Him.

Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”  But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.  But go and learn what this means:  ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:9-13.


The Pharisees, thought they were righteous, deserving to be saved by their sacrifices, wisdom, or will.  But, Jesus was not attracted by their sacrifices or anything else that they did.

The tax collectors and sinners, knew they were sinners.  But, Jesus was motivated only by His compassion on them to save them.

Like the Pharisees, other doctrine focuses on their sacrifices, wisdom, or will, thinking their contributions will motivate Jesus to save them.

But, like the tax collectors and other sinners, Reformed Doctrine knows that all who are saved are sinners, not at all righteous, but rather subject to “Total Depravity”.  Reformed Doctrine knows there is no one who is righteous or otherwise attractive by their contributions (sacrifices, wisdom, or will) that motivates Jesus to save them.  Reformed Doctrine knows that the only reason that anyone is saved is if Jesus had compassion on that person, because he or she is part of God’s elect.

Therefore, what this means:  ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” is that God is motivated to save by His compassion, not motivated by sacrifices or anything else done by man.

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”  Deuteronomy 7:7-8.

“… I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion,
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”  Hosea 2:23.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.


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