Luke 5:31
And Jesus answering said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) They that are whole.—Better, they that are in health. Note, as once more characteristic of the “physician,” the use of this term instead of “they that are strong,” the strict meaning of the Greek word used in the other two Gospels. (See Introduction.)

5:27-39 It was a wonder of Christ's grace, that he would call a publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the services of his disciples according to their strength and standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the weak in faith, or the tempted believer.Made him a great feast - This circumstance "Matthew," or "Levi" as he is here called, has omitted in his own gospel. This fact shows how little inclined the evangelists are to say anything in favor of themselves or to praise themselves. True religion does not seek to commend itself, or to speak of what it does, even when it is done for the Son of God. It seeks retirement; it delights rather in the consciousness of doing well than in its being known; and it leaves its good deeds to be spoken of, if spoken of at all, by others. This is agreeable to the direction of Solomon Proverbs 27:2; "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth." This feast was made expressly for our Lord, and was attended by many publicans, probably people of wicked character; and it is not improbable that Matthew got them together for the purpose of bringing them into contact with our Lord to do them good. Our Saviour did not refuse to go, and to go, too, at the risk of being accused of being a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners, Matthew 11:19. But his motives were pure. In the thing itself there was no harm. It afforded an opportunity of doing good, and we have no reason to doubt that the opportunity was improved by the Lord Jesus. Happy would it be if all the "great feasts" that are made were made in honor of our Lord; happy if he would be a welcome guest there; and happy if ministers and pious people who attend them demeaned themselves as the Lord Jesus did, and they were always made the means of advancing his kingdom. But, alas! there are few places where our Lord would be "so unwelcome" as at great feasts, and few places that serve so much to render the mind gross, dissipated, and irreligious. 30. their scribes—a mode of expression showing that Luke was writing for Gentiles.Ver. 31. See Poole on "Lu 5:27" And Jesus answering, said unto them,.... Knowing that they aimed at him; though, according to this evangelist, they only mentioned his disciples, however, he takes up the cause, and vindicates both himself and them, by observing to them the following proverb;

they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick: suggesting hereby, that as such who are in good health, who are free from all diseases, wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores, stand in no need of the advice and assistance of a physician, or surgeon, but such who have either distempers or sores on their bodies; so they, the Scribes and Pharisees, who, in their own opinion, were free from the disease of sin, original and actual, and touching the righteousness of the law, were blameless, stood not in any need of him, the physician, who came to cure the maladies of the souls, as well as of the bodies of men; but such persons, who not only are sick with sin, but sick of it, who are sensible of it, and desire healing: and therefore this was the reason of his conduct, why he conversed with sinners, and not with the Scribes and Pharisees; his business, as a physician, lying among the one, and not the other; See Gill on Matthew 9:12. See Gill on Mark 2:17.

And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 5:31. Jesus replies, understanding that it is He who is put on His defence. His reply is given in identical terms in all three Synoptics; a remarkable logion carefully preserved in the tradition.31. They that are whole] Our Lord’s words had both an obvious and a deeper meaning. As regards the ordinary duties and respectability of life these provincial scribes and Pharisees were really “whole” as compared with the flagrant “sinfulness” of the tax-gatherers and “sinners.” In another and even a more dangerous sense they were themselves “sinners” who fancied only that they had no need of Jesus (Revelation 3:17-18). They did not yet feel their own sickness, and the day had not yet come when they were to be told of it both in parables (Luke 18:11-13) and in terms of terrible plainness (Matthew 23), “Difficulter ad sanitatem pervenimus, quia nos aegrotare nescimus.” Sen. Ep. 50. 4.Verses 31, 32. - And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. This was one of those sayings of the Lord which sank very deep into the hearts of the hearers. All the three, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, repeat it with very slight variations; it was evidently a favourite theme with the great first teachers who followed Christ. It has borne rich fruit in the Master's Church; for this vindication of Jesus of his conduct in going so often into the society of the moral waifs and strays of the population has been the real "foundation of all those philanthropic movements which enlist the upper classes of society in the blessed work of bending down to meet in love the lower classes, so that the snapped circle of humanity may be restored; it is the philosophy in a nutshell of all home and missionary operations" (Dr. Morrison, on Mark 2:17). They that are whole (οἱ ὑγιαίνοντες)

Both Matthew and Mark use ἰσχύοντες, the strong. This use of the verb in its primary sense, to be in sound health, is found in Luke 7:10; Luke 15:27; and once in John, 3 Ep. 3 John 1:2. For this meaning it is the regular word in medical writings. Paul uses it only in the metaphorical sense: sound doctrine, sound words, sound in faith, etc. See 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:13, etc.

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