Today’s passage Matthew 9:1-17 is a perfect makeover of Mark 2:1-22. That is not surprising since Matthew draws a good deal of his material from Mark:
One major difference is striking though: Mark calls the tax-collector “Levi” whereas Matthew inserts himself into the story. Alfred Hitchcock famously followed this example.
At this point in Jesus’ ministry, disputes commence:
Verse 3: Then some teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This man is speaking blasphemy!” These scribes judge Jesus without even talking to him.
Verse 11: Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such people?” These Pharisees engage in a real conversation with Jesus and his disciples, because he was certainly close if not even part of their tradition.