The saying has the variations and elaborations typical of oral performance, and rounds off effectively Jesus' response to the criticism of consorting with 'sin-ners'.179 There is an unwillingness on the part of many to allow that Jesus may have expressed his sense of mission in such a form.180 But the saying is echoed in subsequent Christian literature, which suggests a lengthy history.181 And we shall see below that the righteous-sinner antithesis closely with the factionalism of Jesus' time.182 Moreover, the context indicated is strikingly echoed in the Q-reported jibe levelled against Jesus, that he was 'a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners' (Matt. 11.19/Luke 7.34).183 It is scarcely credible that such a critique of Jesus was interjected into the Jesus tradition on the initiative of later disciples, and the likelihood that Jesus' practice of mission drew some such dismissive comment is generally acknowledged.184

In Luke the motif of Jesus' association with sinners is much elaborated: Pe

179. Was the final clause added as a 'secondary explanation of the saying about the physician' History 92)? But it would be equally appropriate to ask whether the whole passage (2.14/15-17), which makes such a neatly rounded teaching sequence, was ever performed in a truncated form. Pesch points out how unlikely it would be for the Christian community, who thought of themselves as accounted righteous (dikaioi), to develop a saying of Jesus which denied his concern for the dikaioi {Markusevangelium 167-68). For the association of restoration/healing and forgiveness in the Bible see Ebner, Jesus 152-54, 160.

180. Funk, Five Gospels 46-47 (but the first half of the saying 'sounded like Jesus'); Ludemann, Jesus 17.

181. Oxy.Pap. 1224 (Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament 35-36) — but the fragment is broken off before the end of the first clause; 1 Tim. 1.15; Barn. 5.9.

182. See also Davies and Allison, Matthew 2.105-106.

183. Already cited above, §12.5c.

184. The Jesus Seminar's negative vote hung on the thread of disagreement regarding the use of the phrase 'Son of Man' (Funk, Five Gospels 180, 302-303), but the Seminar had little doubt that Jesus consorted with 'toll-collectors and sinners' and 'social outcasts' and that he was criticized for eating with them (Acts ofJesus 66-67); 'the outside testimony about John and Jesus is authentic' (Ludemann, Jesus 173). See above, chapter 12 n. 348, and Holmen, Jesus 205-19.

ter urges him, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man' (Luke 5.8); the woman who is remembered as anointing Jesus' feet while he reclined at table is identified as a 'sinner' (7.37, 39); Luke introduces the three parables of lost things/people by reporting that 'toll-collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him', prompting the grumbling of some Pharisees and scribes that 'This man receives sinners and eats with them' (Luke 15.1-2); and Luke drives home the point by concluding the first two parables with the refrain, 'there is joy in heaven when one sinner repents' (15.7, 10); Luke also includes a parable contrasting a Pharisee and a toll-collector, where the latter prays, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner' (18.13); and it is Luke who notes the grumbles at Jesus going to be guest of Zacchaeus the rich toll-collector, 'a man who is a sinner' (19.7). We may conclude that even if Luke has elaborated the motif, there was a motif in the earliest memories of Jesus' mission to be elaborated.

Three features stand out in this catalogue, shared by Mark and Q, as also by the fuller material in Luke: (1) the term 'sinner is remembered as regularly used in criticism against Jesus, (2) the term 'sinner' is regularly associated with 'toll-collector',185 and (3) the criticism is most often levelled against Jesus for dining with such people. There is no reason to doubt that all three features are well rooted in the earliest memories of Jesus' mission, as is generally agreed. To clarify their significance it is necessary to clarify each feature: (a) who were the 'sinners'? (b) why the association of toll-collectors and sinners? (c) why was eating with sinners so offensive to some? The third question is best left till chapter 14, and the second can be dealt with briefly. But the first requires some attention.

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