Here is a question that was recently asked:
In Luke 5, Jesus said that He didn’t come for those who thought they were right with God, but that He had come to save sinners. I don’t get it. Weren’t the Pharisees sinners? Didn’t Jesus come for all sinners? If he did, then why does He say He didn’t come for those who think they are right with God?
First, let’s take a look at the passage, Luke 5:27-32
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Here is what this passage DOES say:
- Jesus did not come to call righteous people to repentance (If they were TRULY righteous, they wouldn’t need to repent).
- Jesus did come to call sinners to repentance.
These statements are also true:
- These Pharisees didn’t think they needed saving.
- These Pharisees DID need saving!
- There were Pharisees that became Christians. The Apostle Paul was one of them. Paul thought he was right with God and wasn’t…and Jesus died for him.
It seems what these Pharisees in Luke 5 wanted Jesus to do is be just like them. In their thinking, if Jesus was righteous He should agree with them, affirm them, act like them, praise them, etc. The problem was they weren’t righteous and they didn’t know it. What they needed to realize was that they belonged at that dinner right alongside all the other sinners. They needed the sacrifice of Jesus just like we all do! If they refused to acknowledge they were “sick” they were never going to call on the “doctor.”
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
After looking through this passage in Luke 5, it seems that your question might have more to it… Some of the things you asked actually are not addressed in these verses in Luke 5. So, here are a few more passages that might help you understand the other component(s) of your question:
Acts 17:30-30 – 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Romans 3:10-11 – 10 As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
John 10:9-15 – 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Ephesians 2:8-10 – 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Do you have a question? Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop them in the box at church on Sunday!