And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Again as we saw in Mark 1, the almost hurried way of telling the story of Jesus’s ministry. Here we have Him back in Capernaum and word quickly spread as did the crowds wanting healing and miracles. But like it or not, they got some good teaching too.
They didn’t wait for Him to appear at Synagogue on the Sabbath, they wanted to see Him now. There were so many gathered there, inside and out, that there was no room for everyone, and who knew how long it’d take to get inside if one was ‘standing in line’.
I’ve always loved the audacity of those friends who cut a hole in the roof to get their friend in to see Jesus! But it also shows compassion for their friend, and a determination of faith that this man Jesus could possibly heal him, and they were determined also not to leave without their friend being blessed by Jesus. Kind of reminds one of Jacob wrestling with God and not letting go without receiving a blessing.
Jesus was amazed at the faith of them. Faith is approved by the Lord and He does indeed bless their friend in more important ways than just physically- as He does for all who come to Him in faith.
Son, thy sins be forgiven thee…
I love the way Jesus calls him son here too. It’s a reminder that we’re daughters and sons as well as brothers and sisters once we’ve been accepted into Jesus’s family.
Of course that rankles the Scribes and Pharisees who always happen to be where Jesus is. It definitely shows their hard and selfless hearts that they hear and see everything the masses do, yet they still question and deny and try to trip Jesus up.
It’s interesting that right here, it says the scribes were reasoning in their hearts… one has to assume that they weren’t saying it loudly at least, but maybe among themselves. And yet Jesus reads hearts, and questioned them then answered out loud. In essence He searched their hearts, and by His cleansing of sin, proves He is in authority to do so.
Is it easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk? In most people’s minds it’d be easier to say, even though no one has the authority to forgive sins, than the healing of a paralytic person. By doing as well as saying, Jesus proves He has the power and authority to do so.
He healed the man so completely that he was not only able to walk, but carry his bed out of there, so obviously the people would be amazed- but they also glorified God because of it.
We see Jesus’s calling to Matthew the tax collector, and not only does Matthew follow, he has Jesus to his home for a meal.
It’s interesting to note that we know the disdain and distrust of Jews for tax collectors, especially the traitorous Jew who would work for the Roman government taking money from fellow Jews. That Jesus called such a collector to be a disciple is an example of judging the heart and looking past the sin and that God uses whomever He will to accomplish his purposes. Figuring that Jesus’s earthly ancestors included a prostitute and an adulterous murderer, sin, unless it’s the denial of the Holy Spirit (assuming that is the unpardonable sin) is always forgivable. No matter what or how grievous.
Jesus’s willingness to go to the sinners, instead of waiting for sinners to come to Him, is also a great illustration of the ways and lengths that the Lord pursues us because He loves us enough to want us for His kingdom.
Notice too the Pharisees are here as well- looking in. They don’t bother to listen to Jesus preach without picking apart everything, yet they’re always willing to be found where they believe some grave sin is happening. Not so they can help the sinner, but so they can point it out and make a condemning issue out of it. How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
I love Jesus’s answer to that one, and I’m sure His answer about fasting made their heads spin as well. What was all that bridegroom stuff about?
The Lord was with His bride, the disciples, even though the church had not been officially established yet, Jesus considered those who followed Him His church and bride- and during the early part of the marriage is the celebration. Who fasts at a celebration? There would be plenty of time for seriousness, fasting and meditating when He was no longer with the bride. To everything there is a season and purpose….
To understand the true nature of fasting, these people weren’t ready yet- and needed to be changed from the inside out first.
And yet another criticism, why do they do that which is unlawful on the sabbath. Picking corn on their way to synagogue… because they were hungry probably. They didn’t have the material wealth and finery that the religious leaders had, and they thought nothing of picking as they walked to synagogue. But Jesus backs them up here too, by reminding them of King David eating the show bread of the temple when the only ones permitted were the priests, and also reminding them that the sabbath was made for man, not the other way around. While hard labors were definitely not permissible for the day of rest, nourishing oneself by simply picking and eating was not hardly laborious.
A day of spending time in the presence of God, a day of rest and reflection and away from merchandising and commerce was the idea behind the sabbath rest. And the disciples were obedient to that by honoring and spending time with Jesus- who is the Lord of the Sabbath.
And just like at Matthew’s house, here, we who are all saved sinners say, come join us…
Have a blessed Wednesday all!