Is it easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 24
I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Then he said to the paralyzed man, "Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home." 25
The man immediately stood up in front of them and picked up the stretcher he had been lying on. Praising God, he went home. 26
Everyone was amazed and praised God. They were filled with awe and said, "We've seen things today we can hardly believe!"
27After that, Jesus left. He saw a tax collector named Levi sitting in a tax office. Jesus said to him, "Follow me!" 28So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.
29Levi held a large reception at his home for Jesus. A huge crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30The Pharisees and their scribes complained to Jesus' disciples. They asked, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" 31Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor; those who are sick do. 32I've come to call sinners to change the way they think and act, not to call people who think they have God's approval."
33They said to him, "John's disciples frequently fast and say prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. But your disciples eat and drink." 34Jesus asked them, "Can you force wedding guests to fast while the groom is still with them? 35The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. At that time they will fast." 36He also used these illustrations: "No one tears a piece of cloth from a new coat to patch an old coat. Otherwise, the new cloth will tear the old. Besides, the patch from the new will not match the old. 37People don't pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the new wine will make the skins burst. The wine will run out, and the skins will be ruined. 38Rather, new wine is to be poured into fresh skins. 39"No one who has been drinking old wine wants new wine. He says, 'The old wine is better!'"