Is it easier to say to this man, 'Your sins are forgiven'? Or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?
I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus spoke to the man who could not walk.
"I tell you," he said, "get up. Take your mat and go home."
The man got up and took his mat. Then he walked away while everyone watched. All the people were amazed. They praised God and said, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Once again Jesus went out beside the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd came to him. He began to teach them.
As he walked along he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him. Levi got up and followed him.
Later Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house. Many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples. They were part of the large crowd following Jesus.
Some teachers of the law who were Pharisees were there. They saw Jesus eating with "sinners" and tax collectors. So they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
Jesus heard that. So he said to them, "Those who are healthy don't need a doctor. Sick people do. I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me."
John's disciples and the Pharisees were going without eating. Some people came to Jesus. They said to him, "John's disciples are fasting. The disciples of the Pharisees are also fasting. But your disciples are not. Why aren't they?"
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the groom go without eating while he is with them? They will not fast as long as he is with them.