SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Jesus Calls Sinners to Repentance and Newness of Life in Accordance with His Mercy
In calling Matthew the tax collector to follow Him, Jesus demonstrates that He has come “not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:9, 13). As a good physician, He comes not to confirm them in their sins, but to heal them with His grace, calling them to repentance, faith and newness of life (Matt. 9:12). He puts them to death by the preaching of His Law, in order to raise them with His Gospel, to live before Him in the righteousness of His resurrection (Hos. 6:1–2, 5). It is in this way that God “gives life to the dead,” that is, through faith in Jesus, “who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:17, 24–25). Thus, sinners from all nations are called to share the same faith as Abraham, the father of all who trust in Jesus (Rom. 4:16–18). And as our Lord in mercy thus welcomes us poor sinners to recline at the table in His house, so does He “desire steadfast love and not sacrifice” (Matt. 9:10, 13; Hos. 6:6), that we should have mercy on our neighbors and forgive their sins against us for Jesus’ sake.