Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things?9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?10But that you may know that the Son of Man1 has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralytic,
11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."12
He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God,2 saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"3
Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him,4 and he began to teach them.
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me,"5 Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees6 saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"717
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."8