THE COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE
Jesus went out beside the lake again. The whole crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he continued along, he saw Levi, Alphaeus’ son, sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.
15 Jesus sat down to eat at Levi’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples. Indeed, many of them had become his followers. 16 When some of the legal experts from among the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples, “Why is he eating with sinners and tax collectors?”
17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.”
Jesus went out to the lake again. And again a crowd showed up. So he began teaching them.
As the mobile class was walking along, he came across Alphaeus' son, Levi, who was sitting at a tax collection station. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Levi abandoned his post and went with Jesus.
Jesus and his disciples even ended up eating at Levi's house, where a bunch of tax collectors and other "sinners" joined them at the table. (Many of these people actually became followers of Jesus.)
Some of the Jewish religious experts and Pharisees were offended by what they saw -- table fellowship between the teacher Jesus and the riffraff. But instead of taking the matter up with Jesus himself, they tried to undercut him by picking on his disciples -- "Why is your master eating with all of these pathetic sinners?"
When Jesus overheard their self-righteous caviling he called them out. "Hey, you're just offended that you didn't get an invitation. But the fact is that I'm not here to invite those who think that they are righteous. My mission is to invite people who know that they are sinners into table fellowship with God. Healthy people don't go to the doctor! No, only those who realize that they are sick."