Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them that, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”Mark 2:13-17
Who would be surprised to find a physician among the sick? Jesus, the Divine Physician, was in the right company among those seeking wholeness and healing. “To blame Jesus for mingling with sinners would be like blaming a physician for stooping down over suffering and putting up with vile smells in order to heal the sick,” writes St. Gregory Nazianzen (Second Oration on Easter).
Levi and his gathering flocked to Jesus, a shepherd willing to embrace his sheep in order to lead them to green pastures.
Tax collectors and Levi dined with the Physician
Who called not the righteous but sinners to contrition.