When the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” .
In Mark chapter 2, we find the Lord Jesus is in the city of Capernaum. He has become well known throughout the town. Everywhere He goes; the people flock to Him to witness His miracles and to hear His message.
As the Lord walked by the Sea of Galilee (v 13), the people of Capernaum flock around Him to hear what He will say and to see what He will do. On one level, His ministry is going very well. The common people are excitedly following Jesus as He ministers. But, conflict is beginning to develop between Jesus and the religious leaders (v 16), who did not agree with Him meeting and mixing with sinners and Tax collectors
They are already offended by His actions, we read in Mark 2:5-12. In those verses, Jesus made His identity as God in the flesh very clear. The Jewish leaders are now watching Jesus, trying to find some reason to attack His ministry. They are looking for fault, and they will find plenty about the Lord Jesus and His work that they do not like. Throughout chapter 2 and into chapter 3:6, there will be a series of scandals involving the Jewish religious leaders and the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be scandals over His relationship to Sinners; scandals over the Sabbath; and scandals over certain Sacraments. These scandals will culminate with the Jewish leaders looking for a way to put Jesus to death.
I am sure that most people in Capernaum had given up on Levi. The good religious people of the city snubbed him as they passed by and wrote him off as a lost cause. Jesus, however, knew that his life could be salvaged. He loved him in spite of his past and his problems, and He delivered Levi from the bondage of his sins and gave him a new life. No one is beyond the reach of our redeeming Lord.
Dear Lord Jesus, I am so very thankful that You are interested in sinners, and I know this is true, because You are interested in me and have saved me. Thank You. Amen.