There were some rules in my house that remained unbroken. They were like our own family commandments. One of them was the sovereign right of my mother to know precisely where I was at all times, especially if at a friends house. After all, bad company corrupts good morals, and those people didn’t need any negative influences. This flashback got me thinking; How did Mary feel about Jesus new friends in Mark 2:13-17? Did she know about it? Did this sort of behavior contribute to the scorn Jesus received from his siblings?
Let’s get it straight, Jesus plays host to a cast of shady characters in the home of his new disciple, a recently retired tax collector. Jesus chooses to associate with this group even though it cost him what little credibility he had left with the religious leaders. It was bad enough to call Levi, but scandalous to go into his house. These people were categorical “sinners”. Jesus not only went into Levi’s house, and socialized with his friends, but also was content to recline at his table.
There is no doubt that everything Jesus did was deliberate and intentional. I believe he was intentionally disrespectful toward the man-made legalistic restrictions of the Scribes and Pharisees. He was provocative. It accomplished two distinct purposes. First, it revealed the hard hearts of the religious leaders. Second, it revealed the solidarity he had with the rejected. Where did he go? He went to people who knew they needed him.