2:17 he said . . . I came not. Note the clear declaration of the priority of His mission (cf. 1:38). There is both truth and biting irony in Jesus’ words. Tax collectors, prostitutes, and the like are indeed spiritually “sick,” but Jesus does not really intend the Pharisees to think of themselves as “healthy” (cf. Luke 18:9–14). Jesus is breaking down the artificial categories of all legalistic, works-righteousness religion. Like the Old Testament (Ps. 14:1–3), Jesus teaches that all are sinners (7:1–8), and that righteousness is first and foremost a gift of God to repentant sinners (Ps. 51:1–18; Luke 19:9; Rom. 3:22).