Lesson 3- Mark- Chapter 2
First read Mark chapter 2 quickly all the way though noting all of the ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events:
The ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events in Mark 2
Events in Chapter Two That You Don’t See Every Day:
-Healing of the Paralytic
-Sins are forgiven
-Knew what they were thinking
-Calling of Levi (Matthew) The Tax Collector
-Levi actually got up & followed
-Jesus speaks prophetically
Now read it again in detail along with the Notes and Commentary below:
Notes and Commentary:
I. Capernaum- Verses 1-2
Capernaum was the home base of Jesus. Whose home was he staying at? Most scholars believe that it was Peter’s home, while there are a few that claim that his mother Mary & his brothers also may have lived in Capernaum at the time. Answer -we don’t know for sure, but everyone knew where to find him.
II. Healing of The Paralyzed Guy- Verses 3-12
Verses 3-5: The Hole in the Roof Gang
Can you imagine digging a hole in someone’s roof in order to get a sick person before the healer? The guy had some ‘real’ friends. I can just see Jesus in the house teaching, when a little dust falls, then a clod or two comes down from the ceiling. Then when everyone looks up, a part of the roof comes crashing in. Then comes the strangest stage entrance of all time–down comes a pallet with a paralyzed guy on it. Talk about upstaging everybody–this guy’s friends ‘cut’ & put him at the front of the line right in front of Jesus. Can you imagine the angry reaction of the home owner? But Jesus heals the guy anyway–he forgives him not only for ruining the roof, but also for all of his sins.
Verse 6: Religious Leaders vs. Jesus ‘The Son of Man’
The teachers of the Law were indignant–who does this fellow think he is forgiving sins?–only God can do that. That is the point isn’t it-Jesus was either a crazy person or he really did have divine authority to forgive.
Jesus referred to himself as the ‘Son of Man’ 81 times in the 4 gospels. Today we use the title ‘Son of God’ most of the time and many wonder why he used the ‘Son of Man designation. Fact is, Jesus was fully God and fully man and the title ‘Son of Man’ actually incorporated both.
The ‘Son of Man’ title was familiar to the hearers–it originated in Daniel 7:13-14. The ‘Son of Man’ in Daniel is a Messianic figure with Divine power, authority, & everlasting dominion–his Kingdom will never pass away and every people & nation will worship him:
13 “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed. –Daniel 7:13-14 (ESV)
Also, many writings during the intertestamental period (400 BC-0) referred to the coming Messiah as ‘the Son of Man’.
Verses 8-11: Jesus Heals the Man
Jesus answers his critics by healing the paralyzed man. Therefore, he was not guilty of blasphemy. After all, no man can do either–only God can really heal & forgive. Lord Jesus, forgive us & heal us also!
Q: Why did Jesus forgive his sins first? Just so he could make a point?
A: When Jesus ministered to people, he did what was necessary to bring complete healing. Regardless of those around who might be confused.
We live in a fallen world, all of us have sinned & sometimes our sin can get in the way of receiving complete healing in our lives. All of us needs a Savior, and we all need Jesus to forgive us. If you need Jesus to forgive your sins, just ask him now–he will forgive every mistake and every wrong thing you ever did. You only need to ask. He will be your Savior for all Eternity if you ask him. He can be your greatest friend. Just ask him now!
We don’t know the background of the paralyzed man. Everyone there could see his obvious need for physical healing but Jesus knew that it was more important for the man to first receive deliverance from the bondage of his sins.
When the physical healing did come-everyone rejoiced and glorified God. Only Jesus knows your real need today–just ask him.
III. The Calling of Levi (Matthew)- Verses 13-17
‘Levi’-his given name, Matthew (Gift of The Lord) was his Apostolic name, and the name of the Gospel he wrote.
‘Tax Collector’ -Probably was collecting road tolls for Herod Antipas. They were disparaged and looked down upon by most. They were also notorious for being dishonest and for acting contrary to the Mosaic Law.
Verse 17: In any context, all of us humans are sick & in need of Dr. Jesus–and he will fellowship with us also, regardless of our past.
IV. Fasting- Verses 18-22
Fasting had become a perfunctory duty of the religious. Sometimes they made a show of it in order to appear to be more ‘righteous’ than they actually were.
Jesus used the symbol of a ‘wedding banquet’ to explain the present context for himself and his disciples. It is a time of celebration–after all, the King has come! After the ascension of Jesus, the Apostles & early Christians did indeed fast. When the King comes again, all Christians will be invited to a great feast–‘The Wedding of the Lamb’ –Rev. 19:7. Until then, fasting is still in.
Verses 21-22: Old and New Cloth & Wineskins
Jesus & his disciples represented the coming of a new era.–‘the new wine’ –the new covenant; while the Mosaic Law & religion represented ‘the old wineskin’–the Older Covenant. Point is, the traditions of the rabbis and their interpretations of the Mosaic Law may not apply to the ‘new covenant’ followers of Jesus. Later the church would struggle with what should still apply. (See Acts 10-11:18, 15:1-29)
V. The Sabbath Controversy- Verses 23-28
Jesus & his disciples buck up against the religious leaders of their day. The Pharisees see Jesus and his followers picking grain as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. They charged them with technically harvesting grain, which was work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Do we have any nitpickers like that, in our Churches today?
Verse 25: David & his Followers-see story in I Sam. 21:1-6.
Verse 27: Jesus questions-what is the real purpose of the Sabbath? The day of rest was supposed to be good for the people & a time to worship God.
Verse 28: Lord of the Sabbath
Jesus proclaims here that his authority supersedes the Laws of Moses & the Rabbinical traditions concerning the Sabbath. He is ‘The Son of Man,’ The ‘Son of God,’ and ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ and really Lord of everything.
Is he your Lord today? Just commit yourself to him and your life will change for the better not only in this life but also for all eternity:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that who ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16
-Read Chapter 3 for the next lesson.