9Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'? 10I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said,
11"Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!"12
The man jumped up, took the mat, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers. Then they all praised God. "We've never seen anything like this before!" they exclaimed.
Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that gathered around him.
As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax-collection booth. "Come, be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
That night Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus.)
But when some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees a saw him eating with people like that, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scumb?"
When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor -- sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough."18
John's disciples and the Pharisees sometimes fasted. One day some people came to Jesus and asked, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
Jesus replied, "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can't fast while they are with the groom.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)