“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” Mt. 9:9-13
We tend to think of the word “calling” as referring to a career, to what we’re supposed to do with our lives, to a sense of purpose, to our very life’s purpose, to why we’re here on this earth, to fulfilling a life’s passion and dream, etc., but as important as any of that may be, there is no more important calling in the universe than this one.
The Lord calling us to repentance. To turn from a lifestyle of sin with genuine sorrow over our rebellion against God to God and His ways. To believe Jesus is Lord and Son of God and died to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead. To commit our lives genuinely to God and His ways. To make a decision to live from here on out for Christ. To deny self and live for Jesus. The call to die to self and the ways of this world and to live for God.
In the verses above, the self-righteous Pharisees were horrified in their pride at Jesus for hanging out with the tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees thrived on keeping up appearances and pretending they always had it all together and were perfect at keeping the law. Jesus’ response to them was that He came to call whom to repentance? The sinners!
The ultimate calling isn’t to people keeping up appearances and pretending to have it all together and looking down their noses at everyone else because of their self-righteousness and pride. The calling is to those who HUMBLE THEMSELVES and CONFESS THEY ARE SINNERS and ADMIT THEY NEED A SAVIOR and BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD and WHO TURN TO JESUS and WHO GIVE THEIR LIVES TO HIM and RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND THE PROMISE OF EVERLASTING LIFE.
The ultimate calling is God almighty calling us to repentance because He loves us so much He wants us to seek His forgiveness and entrust our lives to Jesus so we can be in His fellowship forevermore.
We are all sinners in need of Christ the Savior, and NONE OF US has the right to look down at anyone else for their sins. Instead of looking down at others, we need to look up to the Lord and hear Him calling us to repent and believe in Him as Lord, genuinely turning our hearts and lives over to His forever love, mercy, and care.