It was a familiar pattern. Jesus shows up. Peoples lives are touched in miraculous ways. The religious leaders grumble and complain. Unbelievable!
There were a variety of occasions for their complaining and just as many reasons. Perhaps it was because Jesus was taking the spotlight away from them. Maybe it was because their status quo was all of a sudden challenged by this unknown upstart from Nazareth.
One thing is certain. He just wasn’t doing things… the way they’d always been done! One of my favorite episodes occurs in Luke 15 where we read this account:
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” ~ Luke 15:1-2
They were bothered because people who had previously wanted nothing to do with God were gathering around Jesus! The religious leaders likely would not have gotten within 10 feet of such filthy people. But they felt drawn to this unorthodox young teacher.
The particular Greek wording used here indicates that this kind of thing happened all the time; it was ongoing. The sinners, the morally bankrupt, wanted nothing to do with the Pharisees and teachers of the law but were continually flocking to Jesus.
Where are the sinners and morally bankrupt flocking today?
Where do they feel drawn?
Why isn’t it to us or the church?