As Jesus gathers His disciples, they are amazed at His teaching, as are the Jews who listen to Him every Sabbath.
John calls Jesus the “Lamb of God.” Nathaniel testified that Jesus is the “Son of God…the King of Israel!” Truly, the Kingdom of heaven was at hand! All the nation need do to receive it was “repent.”
From the outset it looks like this will happen. Great multitudes followed Him. Healings were taking place from all over the region, even beyond the Jordan. But the elitist, self-righteous leaders begin to question Him, sensing their power may be at stake.
These scrbies and Pharisees wonder why Jesus hangs out with sinners. His clear response,
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Since the scribes and Pharisees did not perceive themselves to be sinners, there was no hope for them to be saved.