Matthew 9:13

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.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
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 rel...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
I am not come. The just appear to be mentioned ironically, as it is said in Genesis, Behold Adam is become as one of us: and if I hunger, I will not tell thee. (Psalm xlix.) For St. Paul asserts, that none on earth were just: all have sinned, and need the glory of God. (Romans iii.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxi.) Christ came to call all men, both just and unjust, since he called Nathanael, who was a just man. But the meaning of these words is, I came not to call you, Scribes and Pharisees, who esteem yourselves just, and despise others, and who think you have no need of a physician; but I came to call those who acknowledge themselves sinners. (Theophylactus) Or the meaning may be, "I came not to call the just to penance, of which they have no need "thus in St. Luke, (chap. v.) I came not to call the just, but sinners to repentance. Or again, the meaning may be, I came not to call the just, because there are none just of themselves, and who stand not in need of my coming. St. Paul says,...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap Anselm: He says, “sitting at the receipt of custom,” that is, in the place where the tolls were collected. He was named Telonarius, from a Greek word signifying taxes. ap Anselm: As a meet return for the heavenly mercy, Matthew prepared a great feast for Christ in his house, bestowing his temporal goods on Him of whom he looked to receive everlasting goods. It follows, “And it came to pass as he satat meat in the house.”. ap Anselm: The Publicans were they who were engaged in public business, which seldom or never can be carried on without sin. And a beautiful omen of the future, that he that was to be an Apostle and doctor of the Gentiles, at his first conversion draws after him a great multitude of sinners to salvation, already performing by his example what he was shortly to perform by word. ord.: Tertullian says that these must have been Gentiles, because Scripture says, “There shall be no payer of tribute in Israel,” as if Matthew were not a Jew. But the Lord did not sit down t...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Christ came for all; how is it then that He says He came not for the righteous? Were there those for whom it needed not that He should come? But no man is righteous by the law. He shows how empty their boast of justification, sacrifices being inadequate to salvation, mercy was necessary for all who were set under the Law. ...
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AD 420
Prophyry and the Emperor Julian insist from this account, that either the historian is to be charged with falsehood, or those who so readily followed the Saviour with haste and temerity; as if He called any without reason. They forget also the signs and wonders which had preceded, and which no doubt the Apostles had seen before they believed. Yea the brightness of effulgence of the hidden Godhead which beamed from his human countenance might attract them at first view. For if the loadstone can, as it is said, attract iron, how much more canthe Lord of all creation draw to Himself whom He will!. But they had seen the Publican turning from sins to better things, and finding place of repentance, and on this account they do not despair of salvation. It should be observed, that when the disciples seemed to be doing what was sinful, these same addressed Christ, "Behold, thy disciples are doing what it is not allowed to do on the Sabbath.” Here they speak against Christ to His disciples, both...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
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...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
After this, that He might not seem to put them that were bidden to shame, by saying, they that are sick; see how He makes up for it again, by reproving the others, and saying, Go ye and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. Matthew 9:13 Now this He said, to upbraid them with their ignorance of the Scriptures. Wherefore also He orders His discourse more sharply, not Himself in anger, far from it; but so as that the publicans might not be in utter perplexity. And yet of course He might say, Did ye not mark, how I remitted the sins of the sick of the palsy, how I braced up his body? But He says no such thing, but argues with them first from men's common reasonings, and then from the Scriptures. For having said, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick; and having covertly indicated that He Himself was the Physician; after that He said, Go ye and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. Thus does Paul also: when he ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
They are here in a twofold error; first, they esteemed themselves righteous, though in their pride they had departed far from righteousness; secondly, they charged with unrighteousness those who by recovering themselves from sin weredrawing near to righteousness. He calls Himself a physician, because by a wonderful kind of medicine He was "wounded for our iniquities” that He might heal the wound of our sin. By “the whole,” He means those who “seeking to establish their own righteousness havenot submitted to the true righteousness of God.” By “the sick,” Hemeans those who, tied by the consciousness of their frailty, and seeing that they are not justified by the Law, submit themselves in penitence to the grace of God. He therefore warns them, that by deeds of mercy they should seek for themselves the rewards of the mercy that is above, and, not overlooking the necessities of the poor, trust to please God by offering sacrifice. Wherefore, He says, “Go; "that is, from the rashness of fooli...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
He esteems lightly human dangers which might accrue to him from his masters for leaving his accounts in disorder, but, “he arose, and followed him.” And because he relinquished earthly gain, therefore of right was he made the dispenser of the Lord’s talents.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
He says, "I have not come now as judge but as physician, and for this reason I endure stench and filth." He also rebukes them for being ignorant when He says, "Go ye and learn." This means, "Since up to the present time you have not managed to learn, so at least from this time on go and learn that God prefers mercy towards sinners above any sacrifice" (Hosea 6:7). The words "I am not come to call the righteous" He spoke ironically. That is, "I have not come to call you who consider yourselves to be righteous, but I have come to call sinners. I do this, not so that they remain sinners, but in order for them to repent." ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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