Hosea 6:3-6; Psalms 50:1,8,12-15; Romans 4:18-25; Matthew 9:9-13
The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus was criticized by the haughty Pharisees for many things. In todayís Gospel Episode they rail against Him for associating with sinners.
In New Testament terms a ìsinnerî is one who is in conscious opposition to God, either by living an immoral life, by engaging in immoral living, or by following a disreputable occupation. The definition would, of course, include the tax gatherers and prostitutes who were shunned by the Pharisees, and even by the ordinary people — but not by Jesus.
Matthew tells us that a number of extorters and prostitutes sat at the dinner table with Jesus. This prompted the Pharisees to say to Jesusí disciples, ìWhy does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?î Hearing this, Jesus said, ìIt is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinnersî (Mt. 9:11-13).
Indeed, Jesus did not come to call the virtuous. He came…