There’s proof that this dastardly deed took place. Proof, yes, the scribes and Pharisees followed Jesus and saw him with their own eyes. How is it possible for a religious person to sit down and eat with these low-life publicans and sinners? That’s the question they posed to the disciples of Jesus.
It’s a familiar story even in today’s world. Some circles call it guilt by association. Parents teach their kids from an early age to be careful who they choose as friends. It’s an axiom. An old country song, Friends in Low Places, says “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, And ruined your black-tie affair” reflects how ingrained this sense of status permeates our society.
“In the world we see people who are determined things are going to be a certain way. But God has already determined the way things will be. People say ‘It’s my truth’ when they actually mean ‘It’s my experience’. Truth lies outside of personal experiences.” Words spoken by Pastor Josh in our Sunday service. The point is Jesus called Levi, Levi got up and followed him. And the Pharisees wanted to have a snit over it.
Jesus heard it and said that if you’re whole, you don’t need a doctor and that he didn’t come to call the righteous but to call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). Interesting that the Pharisees didn’t confront Jesus but picked on his disciples. Remember that Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well and offered her living water. And the criminal on the cross went with Jesus to paradise.
What of the Pharisees? Jesus had a long discourse with them. It’s in John chapter 8. Jesus told them point blank that those who did not believe that he was the messiah would die in their sins (John 8:24). Only God knows what became of them.