But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
All Commentaries on Matthew 9:13 Go To Matthew 9
Hom., xxx: Having wrought this miracle, Christ would not abide in the sameplace, lest He should rouse the envy of the Jews. Let us also do thus, not obstinately opposing those who lay in wait for us. “And as Jesus departed thence,” (namely from the place in which He had done this miracle,) “he saw aman sitting at the receipt of custom, Matthew by name.”.
Herein he shows the excellent power of Him that called him; while engaged in this dangerous office He rescued him from the midst of evil, as also Paul while he was yet mad against the Church. “He saith unto him, Follow me.” As you have seen the power of Him that calleth, so learn the obedience of him that is called; he neither refuses, nor requests to go home and inform his friends.
But why did He not call him at the same time with Peter and John and the others? Because he was then still in a hardened state, but after many miracles, and great fame of Christ, when He who knows the inmost secrets of the heart, perceived him more disposed to obedience, then He called him.
Why is it then that nothing is said of the rest of the Apostles how or when they were called, but only of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew? Because these were in the most alien and lowly stations, for nothing can be more disreputable than the office of Publican, nothing more abject than that of fisherman.
Matthew being honoured by the entrance of Jesus into his house, called together all that followed the same calling with himself; “Behold many Publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus, and with his disciples.”.
As much as to say; How do you accuse me for reforming sinners? Therefore in this you accuse God the Father also. For as He wills the amendment of sinners, even so also do I. And He shows that this that they blamed was not only not forbidden, but was even by the Law set above sacrifice; for He said not, I will have mercy as well as sacrifice, but chooses the one and rejects the other.