27[Jesus] went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” 28And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. 29Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. 30The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. 32I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
Eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners. It is very easy to notice the wrong in others, as the Pharisees see in Jesus. It is just as very easy to fake being good—giving to charity and being nice.
It is much more difficult and thus more challenging to think good—to give people the benefit of the doubt and the chance to prove themselves, to think well of others even when they seem to be suspicious, to see the good intentions behind failures, to sense the desire for holiness behind godless lives, and to presume goodness in everyone.
Jesus has this “weakness,” always thinking of the good in others. That is why he sees no problem in sitting and dining with the sinners of his time. While others pinpoint only the bad things these people have done, Jesus focuses only on the goodness they can do.
A soldier calls a monk, “Pig!” because of his size.
The monk replies, calling the soldier, “Brother!”
“Why such a kind reply?” the soldier wonders.
“Well,” the monk replied, “we see in others mostly what we see in our own selves and our own hearts!”