13 And He went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd was coming for themselves to him, and he was teaching them. 14 While passing by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He says to him, “Follow Me!” And after getting up, he followed Him. 15 So he happens to be reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners are reclining at the table with Jesus and His disciples; because there were many, and they were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he is eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they were saying to his disciples, “Why is he eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 So after hearing this, Jesus says to them, “It is not the ones who have strength who need a doctor, but the ones who are having something wrong with them; I did not come to call upright ones, but sinful ones.”
Levi’s occupation was not respectable. He was not one that the average rabbi would choose for a disciple, because of the kind of people who would be attracted to him. But this seems to be the very reason that Jesus chose him. The very next thing we see is a gathering of tax collectors in Levi’s house, and Jesus in the middle of it. The Pharisees could not understand this, because they chose their associates based on what the ones they chose could do for them. Jesus chose his associates based on what he could do for them. He saw himself as a doctor, so he chose friends who has something wrong with them, so he could fix them. That actually includes everyone, because we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. But some will go to their graves unconvinced that there is anything wrong with them.
LORD, we acknowledge our sin, and we admit our need for you. Help us to seek other patients for you as well.