Luke 5:32 - To 'Good' for Repentance?
Luke 5:32; To "Good" for Repentance?
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 5:32 (KJV)
Here Jesus was not concerned about discussing who were "the
righteous." His point was simply that His mission was to those in need of
"repentance"--a change of heart and a change of life (cf. 3:7-14). The Pharisees
sensed no need for such a change. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]
Although the Pharisees thought so highly of themselves, they
were really in a worse condition than the ones they despised. The
publicans were less bigoted and self-sufficient, and thus were more open
to the influence of truth. DA275-8
Jesus implied that he could do nothing for the "righteous"
Pharisees, who were sure of their own perfection. He wanted to reach those
who recognized and acknowledged their need. [Wycliffe Bible
The Pharisees wrapped their sin in respectability. They made
themselves appear good by publicly doing good deeds and pointing at the
sins of others. Jesus chose to spend time not with these proud,
self-righteous religious leaders, but with people who sensed their own sin and
knew that they were not good enough for God. In order to come to God,
we must repent; and in order to renounce our sin, we must recognize
it for what it is. [Life Application SB]
It was a wonder of his grace that he would not only admit a
converted publican into his family, but would keep company with
unconverted publicans, that he might have an opportunity of doing their
souls good; he justified himself in it, as agreeing with the great
design of his coming into the world. Here is a wonder of grace indeed,
that Christ undertakes to be the Physician of souls distempered by
sin, and ready to die of the distemper -- that he has a particular
regard to the sick, to sinners as his patients, convinced awakened
sinners, that see their need of the Physician-- that he came to call
sinners, the worst of sinners, to repentance, and to assure them of
pardon, upon repentance. These are glad tidings of great joy indeed.
(Matthew Henry's Commentary)
It would be well if we were to regard the sinner not as a
criminal but as a sick man; and if we were to look on the man who has
made a mistake not as someone deserving contempt and condemnation but
as someone needing love and help to find the right way. [Barclay
Levi not only followed Jesus, but he invited many of his "sinner
friends" to meet Jesus. This is a good plan for new believers to follow:
introduce your old friends to your new Friend before they drop you.
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
"No man ever went to Heaven alone; he must either find friends
or make them." It is a Christian duty to share the blessedness that
we have found. [Barclay Commentary]