This verse introduces a meal to which the Lord was invited. It became a notorious meal in the eyes of the scribes and the Pharisees because Jesus sat with publicans and sinners. Yet what a blessed meal this was. Jesus was a guest along with his disciples. Levi invites his work colleagues and friends. Levi himself effectively disappears into the background and Jesus takes the preeminent place at the table. Why were publicans and sinners invited to this meal in the first place, and why did they come? This account gives Christians the greatest encouragement to invite sinners to come and to hear Jesus. What an encouragement for sinners themselves to sit down with the Lord.