The tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear Jesus.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were whispering among themselves. They said, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
Then Jesus told them a story.
He said, "Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Won't he leave the 99 in the open country? Won't he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds it?
When he finds it, he will joyfully put it on his shoulders
and go home. Then he will call his friends and neighbors together. He will say, 'Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.'
"I tell you, it will be the same in heaven. There will be great joy when one sinner turns away from sin. Yes, there will be more joy than for 99 godly people who do not need to turn away from their sins.