Fisherman, tax collectors and sinners - not the types of people one might expect God to hang around with if he were to come to earth. I mean really, why not hang out with those who have dedicated their lives to the scriptures like the scribes or leaders in the synagogues? What was it about sinners that Jesus found so appealing. Perhaps it was their hearts? Maybe these were the only ones with hearts wide open to the good news?
In truth every one that heard Jesus speak was sick and in need of a healer. Those who criticized Christ for eating with sinners were sick with the disease of self righteousness. Yet those could not be healed because they were too proud to come to the Great Physician. Sadly the hearts of the religious were not open to the message of the healer. Perhaps that is the message of this passage. We all need the Healer. We all need Jesus.
I come Lord. I need to be healed. Have mercy on me and change me.