And Jesus answered and said to them, 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.' -- Luke 5:31,32 NASV
Jesus is not being sarcastic to the Pharisees. As our Pastor, Linton Smith, pointed out on Sunday, he's correcting their eschatology. Jesus comes first to offer mercy and then later to crush the unrighteous. The Pharisees had not comprehended Isaiah and perhaps deliberately missed the implications of the revelation to the Gentiles. Jesus' mission involved calling the unrighteous to repentance, the tax-gatherers like Matthew, and the sinners like Peter; people the religious leaders had no time, compassion nor love for. Jesus had the time, the compassion and the love. He also offered one thing more: Purpose. It was as if he were saying, "Matthew, come! Follow me. I offer you freely life, light, love and purpose." It's an offer too good to refuse.