“When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?‘”, Mt 9:11.
How rude and obtuse! But it was the shining example of the vain superiority of the Pharisees who judged Jesus for eating with common people, the wrong people.
Jesus gave a common sense answer that to them would be profound. He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick”, v.12. This would be a profundity and deeply challenging to those who do not have the heart of God. Which is why Jesus said, “But go and learn what this means : ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Alas, they would not “go and learn”.
Instead they soothed their consciences with lies. Their carnal interest could not suffer loss. Their power positions must not, would not be unsettled! They would kill this truth speaker who challenges and unnerves them to the core of their soul.