Throughout the gospel stories Jesus chooses to hang out with the wrong kind of people.
That’s why in today’s gospel the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus.
He offered them something no one else could or would. That’s also why the Pharisees and scribes were grumbling. Jesus was breaking the law, making God just a little too easily available. The starting point for Jesus is grace: searching not blaming, finding not punishing, rejoicing not condemning.