27 Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector's booth.
"Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him.
28 So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.
Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor.
of Levi's fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them.
the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly
to Jesus' disciples,
"Why do you eat and drink with such scum?"
31 Jesus answered them,
"Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do.
32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,
but those who know they are sinners and need to repent."
I've said it before in this blog - we who follow Jesus a lot of the time isolate ourselves away from the non-Christian world.
All our friends are Christians.
Many of the places we do business with are Christians.
Much of what we read, listen to, or watch in the media is produced by Christians.
We seldom, if ever, make connections with non-believers.
We stay away from them, never developing the kind of relationship(s) with them that would draw them into belief in Jesus.
Where would each of us be if the person(s) who drew us into a relationship with them that eventually ended up with us following Jesus had isolated from non-Christians as we are?
Each & every day we live, we in some way or other come in contact with people that those Pharisees back them & many of our precious & prissy Christians friends & authenticators would describe as "scum".
And all of those people have one thing in common, whether they realize it or not...
...they're all longing for a connection with God.
And you & I are the only ones who can connect them with Jesus.