Here are a few of my thoughts about the contrasts in the passage:
But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. "But go and learn what this means: ' I desire compassion and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the
righteous, but sinners."
- Matthew: There is something wonderful in the simple way that Jesus called and Matthew followed.. I think that it reflects the heart of Jesus.. and Matthew's response is reflective of his heart as well.. imagine what it must have been like for an outcast of religious people to be called this way.. simply wonderful.
- Pharisees: There is something dark and sinister about the way that these folks reject the call to sinners.. I think their judging attitude is reflective of people that have dark and hard hearts.. the religious elitism and arrogance is so repugnant.
- Jesus: Once again our Lord amazes us as He confronts the issue head on rebuking the religious people and instructing them about how they should be responding to sinners.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.Notice that James mentions nothing about judging sinners or keeping the law.