And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
Note 1 at Lu 15:2: Jesus had been accused of associating with sinners before (Mt 9:10-11, Mr 2:15-16, and Lu 5:29-30). Previously, He had answered with the parable of the physician being sent for the sick and not for those who are well. This parable of the lost sheep is illustrating the same point--that Jesus was sent to those who were in need. Of course, everyone needs salvation through Jesus, but not everyone is aware of that need (see note 1 at Mt 9:13). These Pharisees and scribes said He was receiving "sinners" as if they themselves had not sinned. The only people whom Jesus could save were those who knew they were lost (Mt 18:11).