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
Augustine of Hippo
De Cons. Evan., ii, 26: Or, perhaps it is more probable that Matthew here turns back to relate something that he had omitted; and we may suppose Matthew to have been called before the sermon on the mount; for on the mount, as Luke relates, the twelve, whom He also name Apostles, were chosen.
De Cons. Evan., ii, 27: Matthew has not said in whose house Jesus sat at meat(on this occasion), from which we might suppose, that this was not told in its proper order, but that what took place at some other time is inserted here asit happened to come into his mind; did not Mark and Luke who relate the sameshew that is was in Levi’s, that is, in Matthew’s house.
Luke seems to have related this a little differently; according to him the Pharisees say to the disciples, “Why do ye eat and drink with Publicans and sinners?” not unwilling that their Master should be understood tobe involved in the same charge; insinuating it at once against Himself and His disciples. Therefore Matthew and Mark have related it as said to the disciples, because so it was as much an objection against their Master whom they followed and imitated. The sense therefore is one in all, and so much the better conveyed, as the words are changed while the substance continues the same.
Luke adds “to repentance,” which explains the sense; that none should suppose that sinners are loved by Christ because they are sinners; and this comparison of the sick shows what God means by calling sinners, as a physician does the sick to be saved from their iniquity as from a sickness; which is done by penitence.