Call the Doctor

Read Luke 5:27-32

Focal Verse

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”

Luke 5:31,32

Bible Study

When Jesus called Peter to follow Him (Luke 5:1-11) He gave Him a specific mission: I will make you a fisher of people. Here it seems to be a bit different. Jesus doesn’t give Matthew a specific reason to follow Him. Did Luke want to avoid writing a bit more because that evening he was tired? Maybe he wanted to keep it short so he could go to bed early? No. It seems that Luke wants to remind us that the vision is not primarily doing something but obediently following the Lord as faithful disciples, so He can save and transform us. The doing is the ‘natural’ outcome of following Jesus sincerely.

Key Word: "sinners (hamartolos in Greek)"

The meaning of the word is literally someone who 'deviates from the right path' due to sin. What the paralysis in the previous verses was to the man's body, sin is to Matthew's soul. One was sick and stuck to his mat, the other was sick and stuck to his tax-collector’s booth. Jesus forgives and heals them both so that they will walk with Him in the right path of holiness and true happiness. The calling of Matthew happens in Caphernaum which was a place at the crossroads of the so called Via Maris - so one would expect to find a tax collector there.

Reflection and Application

All it takes was a glance of Jesus for Matthew to  ‘arise’ from the booth of 'service to the world' to 'service to the King'. His gift with pens and writing is transformed into writing a gospel. However this flows from another reality: Jesus goes to eat with him because ‘eating with God’ is communion with God. Do we make it a habit to commune with Him?


Lord, like Matthew, I too find that I am ‘sick’ and a ‘sinner’ stuck in some of my ways. I  need Your healing and Your mercy. Heavenly Doctor, Lord and Healer, I give You all the areas where I need deeper repentance and healing and ask You to help me at this moment turn to You wholeheartedly in preparation for the pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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