The Paralytic Healed
1 Jesus returned to Capernaum, and a few days later the news went out that He was at home.(A) 2 So many people gathered together that there was no longer room [for them], not even near the door; and Jesus was discussing with them the word [of God]. 3 Then they came, bringing to Him a paralyzed man, who was being carried by four men.(B) 4 When they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they (a)removed the roof above Jesus; and when they had dug out an opening, they let down the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the (b)scribes were sitting there debating in their hearts [the implication of what He had said], 7 “Why does this man talk that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins [remove guilt, nullify sin’s penalty, and assign righteousness] except God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, being fully aware [of their hostility] and knowing in His spirit that they were thinking this, said to them, “Why are you debating and arguing about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your mat and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the (c)Son of Man has the authority and power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralyzed man, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your mat and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the mat and went out before them all, so that they all were astonished and they glorified and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
13 Jesus went out again along the [Galilean] seashore; and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.
Levi (Matthew) Called
14 As He was passing by, He saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting in the (d)tax collector’s booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And he got up and followed Him [becoming His disciple, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].(C)
15 And it happened that Jesus was (e)reclining at the table in Levi’s house, and many tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews] were eating with Him and His disciples; for there were many of them and they were (f)following Him. 16 When the scribes [belonging to the sect] of the (g)Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with the sinners [including non-observant Jews] and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat and drink with (h)tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard this, He said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but [only] those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners [who recognize their sin and humbly seek forgiveness].”
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting [as a ritual]; and they came and asked Jesus, “Why are John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fasting, but Your disciples are not doing so?” 19 Jesus answered, “The attendants of the bridegroom (i)cannot fast while the bridegroom is [still] with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom is [forcefully] (j)taken away from them, and they will fast at that time.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk (new) cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. 22 No one puts new wine into old (k)wineskins; otherwise the [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the wineskins. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
23 One Sabbath He was walking along [with His disciples] through the grainfields, and as they went along, His disciples began picking the heads of grain.(D)
Question of the Sabbath
24 The Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why are they doing what (l)is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 25 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was in need and was hungry, he and his companions;(E) 26 how he went into the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for anyone but the priests to eat, and how he also gave it to the men who were with him?”(F) 27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.(G) 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath [and He has authority over it].”
a. Mark 2:4: The roof of a typical home was composed of clay tiles which were laid on a mat of branches and grass supported by wooden beams. The parallel passage in Luke explains that “they went up on the roof and lowered him through the tiles” (5:19).
b. Mark 2:6: These were scholars of the Law and of the writings of the prophets.
c. Mark 2:10: Jesus uses this title to identify Himself as Messiah (cf Dan 7:13). It appears over eighty times in the Gospels. Especially notable is its use in 8:31.
d. Mark 2:14: I.e. customs office, toll house. Tax collection stations were usually located along the trade route or at the port.
e. Mark 2:15: This Greek word was used to describe a festive meal with entertainment.
f. Mark 2:15: See note 1:17.
g. Mark 2:16: These men were an influential religious body of Jews who rigidly adhered to Mosaic Law and ceremonial tradition. Jesus called them to account for their self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
h. Mark 2:16: All native Jews contracted by Rome to collect local taxes were despised, along with those who were non-observant Jews.
i. Mark 2:19: Jewish tradition (as recorded in the Talmud) held that it was a religious duty to congratulate and entertain the bride and groom during the wedding festivities. By analogy, Jesus is saying that His disciples ought to rejoice while He is with them rather than engage in fasting, which was a sign of mourning.
j. Mark 2:20: The words “taken away” allude to Jesus’ violent death on the cross (cf Is 53:8).
k. Mark 2:22: See note Matt 9:17.
l. Mark 2:24: See note Matt 12:2.