Sure the taxmen sinned, sometimes they took more than required and pocketed the difference. Sometimes their fees left people with little to eat. They often suffered from greed, sometimes had little regard for their neighbor. Sometimes they didn’t recognize a sin. Jesus welcomed them, and he cured them. Extortion, bribery, robbery, deceit, brutality; all sins that keep one from God. Jesus taught them to repent, and offered forgiveness. That forgiveness allowed them to change, and a change could restore them to life. Sinners came to Jesus, because He cured. Lord have Mercy, Christ have Mercy, Lord have MERCY. The Pharisees (of that era) did not. A sinner is a sinner, and not all sins are character flaws. The blind, and beggars, and cripples, all of them cursed and with no recourse. There lies doom. The taxmen sinned, even though they sought to be fair. Their sin simply was being a taxman. Pharisees knew that, but Jesus might argue. Why should an upright taxman live the life condemned? Jesus dined with the sinner, they came to him because he cured. The Pharisee fought against sin, but did they fight for the sinner? How was it that they brought about a cure? Why did sinners follow Jesus? The sinners, such as taxman Mathew, felt a burden lifted from their shoulders. They were freed from the burden of sin they had carried so long
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Mt 9:9-13