Chapter 2

"Jesus Healing the Sick [1-12]."
'The Call to Levi (Matthew), the Feast [13-22]."
"Teaching Disciples, "Lord of the Sabbath" [23-28]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by 

Whether in the desert or at the right hand of the Father, the Holy Spirit is with us, the same One that could perform the acts of healing is with us today. But when the multitude standing before Jesus could not physically see the Holy Spirit, they simply did not have the faith to know that even more important than healing someone that is sick in the flesh, is to heal the sickness that is within your soul. This is what will be discussed in this second chapter of Mark. Your inner man, the spiritual you, must accept Christ and submit to Him, then His Spirit will change your life and make those impossible matters of the day, acceptable and and a breeze to do.

There is nothing wrong with having a crutch in life, such as medical treatment, and the different associations that help you in matters such as alcohol, marriage problems, and so forth, however, before you start with these folks, you need to lay those problems on Christ. He has already paid the price for your failures, now go to Him and let Jesus touch you through His Spirit. You must be changed from within, before you can be changed on the outside. the flesh is kind of like the animal, and it will do just fine if the inner man is happy and content. So take care of the inner man first.

Remember that Mark was not one of the disciples, for he was just a young lad, a teenager when Jesus was doing His ministry. The energy that Mark had, shows up through his writing and the way that it moves along. Mark gets the story told with no waste of words. We will see later in the book that Mark does give us a greater view of the seals of Revelation than any of the other gospels.

Mark 2:1 "And again He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house."

Jesus and the disciples had left Capernaum and were gone for a period of time, and they returned to Simon's house. It didn't take long for the entire community to know that Jesus and the others were back in town. Remember from Mark 1:29, that after Jesus had preached and astonished the people with his teaching, He and the disciples went to Simon Peter, and Andrew's house, where Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law. That night, from dusk to well into the night, people came and were healed. The next morning Jesus and His disciples skipped out of town and went to preach at other town. Now Jesus and the four disciples are returning to Capernaum, and it doesn't take long for the word of His return to get around the community. So quite obviously, a crowd is gathering at the house.

Mark 2:2 "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."

"Straightway" is the same word used in the manuscripts as the word "immediately", and it is used many times in this book of Mark. Jesus preach to these people that came to the house the way of Salvation, for He is the Way of Salvation. Mark is telling us that this house now is so full that it would be impossible for another person to get in, but when it comes to a position of hearing the Word of God, it is never to crowded. There is always a way to add one more.

Mark 2:3 "And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of palsy, which was borne of four."

The word "palsy" means "paralytic", and this man that was being brought to Jesus for healing was paralyzed, and his friends or family were carrying him to the house and there was no room even to enter the house. This man was laying on a poor man's bed, which we would call a pallet today. There were four men bringing this sick man to Jesus, and four in biblical numerics represents the number for "earth". It symbolizes the things of this earth (four seasons, four directions and so on). The one that was sick makes the number five, which is the number for "grace". This is the number which symbolizes the number for Christ. Jesus is now going to declare His office for the first time, that office of "The Son of man", God in the flesh. Though the place is packed, there is but five people present that realize exactly who Jesus is.

Mark 2:4 "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."

Removing part of the roof was not that difficult in this area, at this time. They simply lifted it up, and then they lowered this pallet, or bed that the man with palsy was laying on, right down in the midst of the crowd. They brought this sick man right to the place of Christ.

Mark 2:5 "When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."

The faith is not only of the four men carrying the man with Palsy, but the sick man also was very obvious. They had the faith to know that if we can only get this paralyzed man in there, he would be healed, and that signified "faith". Remember now, that in the midst of the crowd that was around Jesus were some spies from the temple. The Kenite scribes and the Pharisees were following Jesus and taking note of everything that Jesus said and did. Now Jesus really turned these scribes on, for before He healed this man, He forgave his sins. These Kenite Jewish scribes knew that the only one that can forgive sins is God Himself [even though they confess there was no God], and now Jesus was standing there in their midst and saying to this man with palsy, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." In other words, Jesus was declaring Himself to be God.

There could be no doubt to this matter of of what Jesus had just spoken to the people of the religious community, Jesus either had to be a fraud, or He had to be God. There was no compromise to this matter. Even the Kenites knew that only God could forgive sin, and have that sin be removed from the heavenly books, and their names placed in the book of life. Though anyone can make this statement, there is only one that can back it up in reality. Jesus saw the faith of these men, and then made this statement. "Child, your sins are forgiven."

Mark 2:6 "But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,"

Here comes those of the religious community, the Kenite scribes sitting there and taking in every thing that is said and done. The words of Jesus had no more than come out of His mouth, but these Kenites got their heads together, and started to reason together in their minds. The question in their minds is this:

Mark 2:7 "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies: who can forgive sins but God only?"

These Kenite scribes are not talking to Christ, but they are off in the corner by themselves discussing whether this is blasphemies that Jesus has just spoken, in saying to the man with palsy, "Thy sins be forgiven thee." " The bottom line on this is that they are calling Jesus a blasphemer.

Mark 2:8 "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?"

As these scribes were thinking of these things in their mind, Jesus understood exactly what they were thinking before they had even spoken the words. The Holy Spirit read their minds, and Jesus asked these men why they were even thinking these things and discussing them. Jesus Christ had that ability through the Holy Spirit to know exactly what you are thinking, and you don't even have to speak the words.

Jesus has a sense of humor, and now in time He is going to show up this religious community. And in the same time that He is putting them down, He is going to teach us a very deep message. When our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ sees your faith, the first thing that he does is to forgive your sins. It took the faith to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He has the ability to heal. It is your part to ask for the healing, and before the healing takes place, your sins are forgiven because of your faith. One comes before the other, yet both have taken place.

Mark 2:9 "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? ' "

Jesus always taught with questions, and He asked these Kenite scribes, which is the most important, making the statement "Thy sins be forgive thee;" or to make the statement, "Arise and take up they bed and walk?" When you are teaching and put what you are going to teach in the form of a question, you force that person to think about what you are going to say, before you give the answer. Jesus is forcing not only the scribes but all those present to think and realize what is taking place. Any person can make either of these statements, however there is one big difference, and that is; will it become reality?

If a person claims to be a great healer, and he makes the statement, "take up thy bed and walk", then if the person doesn't, Does it means that something is wrong with the person making the statement? The proof of the persons powers are in the fact that the man picks up his bed and walks, However, in the statement, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," there is no instant visible proof that any sins have been forgiven. Any person can make this statement, and when it is spoken, He is either God, or he is a fake.

Mark 2:10 "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,)"

Here again is "earth" the number four in biblical numerics, so as Jesus looked over to the paralyzed man laying on the pallet, He declares Himself God, "the Son of man that hath the power here on earth to forgive sins". He is now going to demonstrate to not only the scribes of the religious community, but to everyone present, with an act that simply cannot be done by any man. He is going to heal this man with palsy.

Mark 2:11 "I say unto you, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house."

Mark 2:12 "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."

The people and even the scribes had heard many preachers and teachers saying a lot of things, but they had never seen such an amazing thing. They knew immediately that Jesus had the power of God, so lets take a look at those things that Christ did here.

The message for us in this is that God is the same yesterday, as He is today and will be throughout all eternity. God doesn't change one bit. This is also as it is with the Messiah, with Jesus Christ the Savior and healer. Jesus never changes from one day to another, for He promised that after the crucifixion He would send the comforter, and His Comforter the Holy Spirit is still with us today. Before Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, while all the saints were gathered in Jerusalem, they wanted to know when Jesus would return to restore Israel, and build His Kingdom.

Acts 1:6 "When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"

Acts 1:7 "And He said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power."

Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth".

Jesus promised His disciples a "Comforter" in John 14:15-16; "If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;"

John 14:17 "Even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

John 14:18 "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

Jesus tells us exact who the Comforter is in verse 26, and there can be no doubt.

John 14:25 "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you."

John 14:26 "But the Comforter, Which is the Holy Ghost [Spirit], Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

The fulfillment of this promise that Jesus gave to us, is given in Acts 2:2-6.

Acts 2:4 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 2:5 "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."

Acts 2:6 "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

This was the feast time of Pentecost, and there were men that came to Jerusalem from every nation of the world. They were all gathered in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit came upon the saints that were gathered all together and waiting for the power that to come to them that Jesus had promised them. The receiving of the Holy Spirit was not a thing of hiding or in secret but a public demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. Every person on that day not only heard in His own language, but as given in the Greek text, even in their own dialect of the neighborhood that they came from. There was no confusion when the Holy Spirit spoke, nor was there any misunderstanding of what was being said by anyone that was present in the crowd on that day. There is no confusion in any of the work or words of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

This is the peace that we have within us when we turn our lives, hearts and minds over to Christ in repentance, and it comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. It is His Spirit that takes away the confusion of this world, and makes those crooked paths straight. Today we have to walk by faith and not by sight. Just because you cannot see the Savior today, doesn't mean that He is not here. Jesus is with us through His Comforter when we communicate with Him in the way that we should.

It is more blessed to have your soul and spirit healed by having your sins forgiven, the sins to your eternal self and soul; than to be paralyzed and have that condition healed. We are only walking in these flesh bodies for a very short time in the relationship to eternity, and then our souls return to the Father that sent it at the time of conception. So now ask yourself, Which is the greater miracle that Jesus performed that day through the Spirit, was it the forgiving of the sins and giving the man eternal life, or the healing of the man's palsy and allowing him to be healthy for the few years remaining in his life? This is what Jesus was asking these scribes.

This man was a lost precious soul that came before the Savior, and even before he was healed, his soul was given eternal life. I hope your answer is; "To give eternal life." It is the condition of the soul that matters in the eternal time, for in the next earth age or life, the soul body will be perfect, and incorruptible; there will be no palsy, loss of sight or limb. Jesus will forgive your sins today just as quickly as He did no the day he healed this man with palsy, if He sees your faith. He certainly can, for He can read your mind. It is just as real today as the day that He walked into this house at Capernaum.

When Jesus looked at the faith of this sick man being lowered by the ropes, and said, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." That is the greatest miracle. There was two healings that took place in this man with palsy, the healing of the physical body, and the healing of the man's inner soul. Those that cannot see through their spiritual eye, miracles just don't matter to them, but for you that have eyes to see and ears to hear the more in-depth spiritual things, Don't close them. Don't ever forget that Christ is here in Spirit and with us the same as when he walked the streets of of Judaea. His promise to you is that "I shall never leave the nor forsake thee." And you can count on Him.

Mark 2:13 "And He went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them."

Jesus has left Capernaum and he is now down by the sea shore.

Mark 2:14 "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."

"Levi, the son of Alphaes" is the person we know as Matthew, the writer of the great book of Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector. So now Jesus has selected five men to be His disciples. There are four fishermen, and a tax collector, and Jesus is going to change this tax collector into a man of God, when He gives the command "Follow Me".

Jesus calls people in many different ways, some through revivals and pier pressures and emotional times, while God's elect will hear the the Word of God, and there will be no walking down the path, but the Holy Spirit will simply say to you "follow Me", and the spiritual light will be turned on in your mind. You will hear it in the eye of your mind, and you will know that you have no choice but to follow Him. There are many that knew that there was more to God's Word than what is taught in the church house, even when you were a small child. You know that you had a destiny, set aside for a purpose, and that is how God calls His elect.

Mark 2:15 "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him."

The people knew who Matthew [Levi] was, they knew the people that he ran around with, and here Jesus and the other four disciples were sitting out in the open at Matthew's house and eating with him and all his friends. Matthew and his friends were not people of the religious community, but it is from this type that Jesus selected one of His disciples.

Mark 2:16 "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 the religious community saw Jesus and his disciples sitting there with these publicans and sinners they just could not understand how this could be. Friend, look out for those churches that are just to good to have sinners enter their doors. They have forgotten the purpose and condition that they were in when they accepted Christ. Many times the sinners that are in a fallen state, were taught the things of Christ and His love as a child, and strayed from the righteous path. However, when the seeds of God's Word are spoken to them, the light is turned on, and they come to repentance in Jesus name.

Much of the religious community even today would never think of entering a place where sinners dwelt, but that is what planting seeds of truth is for. Christ expects you to go where the sinners are, for it was for the sinners that He paid the price on the cross. Jesus told us that in Luke 5:32.

Luke 5:32 "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

The purpose of the church is to go out and plant seeds in the minds of the sinners and bring them to repentance. However it has become a place of social gatherings, and one trying to out do the other in self pride. In many cases the religious community has lost sight of just why they were established in the first place. The dear souls of this world today are hurting and they are looking for comfort that only comes from the Comforter, and that is the mission of the church, and it is given later in Mark 16:15, where Jesus is giving His disciples their great commission.

Mark 16:15 "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Every sinner includes all of mankind that does not believe in Jesus Christ. Some times all that needs to be said is a few words of encouragement, a smile and the planting of a truth from God's Word. The Holy spirit will cause that seed to grow and new spiritual life will enter that person. The "gospel" is the good news of salvation, that Jesus loves you, and He cares for you. The gospel changes lives, and turns sinners into Christians. Even today, Jesus Christ would not be welcome in many of the churches of today, for they feel that they are just to good for the ones that would go to the places that Jesus was in, preaching the gospel.

Mark 2:17 "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."

Jesus knew what these scribes and Pharisees were saying, those of the religious community that would never be caught in the presence of the publicans and sinners. The "publicans" were the ones that enforced the payment of a debt. They were the ones that would take the land from the widow when the husband died to enforce a debt, and do the things that the rest of the community finds detestable. They are the ones people think to be hard-hearted, and spiritually sick.

This is what is wrong with the church world today, they have lost sight of why Jesus came into the world as a child, and later to the cross. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. You have to get out amongst the sinners if you expect to do the teaching. The unbeliever is to wise to fall for a bunch of half truths, and fairy tales and the playing church. But they will take note when they see the power of God exercised amongst those that are spiritually sick. This goes right back to what Jesus said in verse nine; "Which is easier to say, take up your bed and walk, or thy sins be forgiven thee."

Mark 2:18 "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 the Pharisees fast, but Thy disciples fast not?"

Even the Pharisees saw the difference between the disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of Jesus. The disciples of Jesus were not in mourning.

Mark 2:19 "And Jesus said unto them, "Can the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast."

Jesus is telling these Pharisees, there is a wedding that is about to start, and they are getting prepared for the wedding. Of course Christ was that bridegroom, and the marriage would take place at the cross. That is when the many membered body of the bride would come together shortly.

Mark 2:20 "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days."

This is to say that after the crucifixion, when Jesus Christ returned to the father, then the bride would fast.

Mark 2:21 "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."

Lets put this in everyday language. In the time of Christ they didn't have all these shrink proof fabrics, and after a piece of cloth in a garment had been washed several times, it shrunk up a bit. When the hot water hit the cloth a size ten may become a size eight immediately. If you took a pair of old blue jeans, and put a patch using a new cloth in it, after the first wash, the patch would shrink up to where it would pucker the mend, and even cause more damage to the cloth than it was before.

Jesus is saying that this is the way that these Christians are. These religious people that are just to good to be around sinners. You come around sinners and give them a new truth and promise them forgiveness from their sins if they repent, and when you put that truth on them it pulls them all out of shape. A church like that can't stand the truth, and that is why Christ is very careful of who He bless. This is why we should be able to adjust to the one that we are planting seeds, and when God brings correction to our lives, that we will not wilt when the correction comes.

Mark 2:22 "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."

The word used for "bottles" in the Greek text is # 779 in Strong's Greek dictionary. "Askos, as-kos'; a leathern (or skin) bag used as a bottle." Jesus is talking about a leather wine skin that new wine was put in to be aged. A new piece of leather is stretchable and pliable as the pressures are brought on as the wine ferments. However once the wine bags of leather have cured and become hardened in ways by age, it will not expand again if new wine is pour into it. If you do put new wine into it, in a very short time that bag will explode.

Jesus Christ is saying, that is exactly the way that the religious community will be. They get set in their traditions and ways, and it is impossible for them to adjust as the new wine, the truth of God's Word is given to them. They just can't take it, for they have always been that way, mom and dad were that way, and they just will not give up their false doctrines, and be open to the Word no matter what. Jesus is saying that this is the reason that He went out to get new believers that would be followers and doers of the Word. The old Christians are to set in their ways, and they refuse to keep an open ear to the Spirit of God, and be led in the path that He leads.

Many times Christians feel that they become to perfect to follow the great commission, to go out on the highways and byways to tell others of Christ, no they would rather sit in their pew, sing when the preacher says to sing, and listen to the few minutes of talk that he has prepared. The hour is over and now lets go eat, and have fun. That is their idea of a good Christian. This type is primed and ready to jump into Satan the Antichrist's bed when he come, and they won't know any difference.

So What Jesus is telling us, is that if the Christians around you are not open to the word, just leave them alone and seek out other people that are open to the Word. They will be pliable and able to receive the Truth. You try to fit the truth, chapter by chapter and verse by verse in a traditional church that is set in its ways, it is going to burst. The next question is, How is your skin doing today, will it stretch a little when the truth hits your ears, or will you bust? The lesson that Jesus is teaching is that a lot of people just can't stand the truth.

Mark 2:23 "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."

When Jesus and His disciples were in the countryside they took care of themselves when it was time to eat.

Mark 2:24 "And the Pharisees said unto Him, "Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?"

The thing that was not lawful, was going a greater distance journey than the law provided. These Pharisees were always tagging along and trying to find fault with Jesus and the disciples. It is no different today than it was in Jesus day, the religious community is always trying to find fault with those that do not follow their ways.

Mark 2:25 "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?"

Even the scribes and Pharisees agreed that David was anointed by God through the prophet Samuel, the chief priest. David carried the full weight of a servant of God. Much of the Scriptures were written either by him or about him.

Mark 2:26 "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?"

When Saul was on a rampage and went out and killed all the priests, Abiathar the high priest is the only priest that king Saul did not murder.

Mark 2:27 "And He said unto them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath:"

The Sabbath was made for man in the flesh only, it was not made for God or the angels. God did not create man for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was a time set aside for man to rest and refresh himself.

Mark 2:28 "Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath."

The word Sabbath means "rest", and in Hebrews 4, we are reminded that Christ is our Sabbath. That is why the Sabbath was nailed to the cross with Christ, for Christ became our Sabbath. Our only rest is in Christ, and this is why the religious community always followed Christ around on the Sabbath to see what He and His disciples would do.

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