I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
I. WHAT IS THE PURPORT OF CHRIST'S COMING INTO AND WORK IN TEE WORLD AS ANNOUNCED IN THE SCRIPTURES GENERALLY? Universal and all-inclusive. The world. Whosoever.
II. HERE, HOWEVER, AN APPARENT LIMITATION. Some whom He did not come to call: the righteous. Who were these righteous? Wee e they really righteous? No, but only self-righteous.
III. ARE THERE, THEN, ANY WHOM CHRIST DID NOT COME TO SAVE? NO. But so long as a man is self-righteous he is not saveable, he cannot hear and obey the call of Christ. Christ's errand is to the needy and the sinful. Let the self-righteous become conscious of his unrighteousness and sinfulness, and he becomes at once one of those whom Christ came to call. For —
IV. IN COMING TO CALL SINNERS HE TRULY CAME TO CALL ALL, for all are sinners. And thus is the apparent limitation, so far as His desire and purpose are concerned, shown not really to exist. He will have all men to be saved and to tome to a knowledge of the truth.
(J. B. Bailey.)Criminality certainly appeared to Christ more odious and detestable than it did to His contemporaries. How strange, then, to find Him treating it more leniently I perfect justice here appears to take the very course which would be taken by injustice. It is true that the extremes do in a manner meet. Christ, representing the highest humanity, treats crime in a manner which superficially resembles the treatment of it by those in whom humanity is at the lowest stage. But the other toleration was barbarous. Christ's toleration is the newly-revealed virtue of mercy.
(Ecce Homo.)There are two classes of men — the righteous who believe themselves sinners; and sinners who believe themselves righteous.
Parallel VersesKJV: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.