1 After Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, it became known that He was [back] at home [i.e., possibly at the house of Peter and Andrew, where He was staying. See 1:29]. 2 And there were so many people gathered to listen to His message that there was no room for any more [in the courtyard] around the doorway. 3 Then some people came, bringing a man afflicted with paralysis, who was being carried by four friends. 4 And when they were unable to get near Jesus, because of the [large] crowd, they removed [a section of] the roof [directly above Him]. [Note: The roof was a flat area, where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., and easily accessible from an outside stairway]. And when they had broken open [a sizable hole], they lowered the cot on which the paralyzed man was lying.
5 When Jesus saw [the evidence of] their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
6 But certain experts in the law of Moses, who were sitting there, began reasoning in their minds, 7 "Why does this man talk this way? He is speaking against God. Who can forgive sins except one, that is, God?"
8 And immediately Jesus perceived in His spirit what they were reasoning in their minds and said to them, "Why are you reasoning like this in your minds? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man, 'your sins are forgiven,' or to say 'get up, pick up your cot and walk'? 10 But, so you will know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins (He then said to the paralyzed man), 11 I say to you, get up, pick up your cot and go home.'"
12 So, he got up and immediately picked up his cot and walked out in front of them all, so that everyone was amazed and gave honor to God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this before."
13 Then Jesus went out again, walking along the shore of the lake, and [when] all the crowd came out to Him, He taught them. 14 And as He walked along He saw Levi [i.e., the same person as Matthew. See Matt. 9:9], the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the toll booth [i.e., collecting taxes]. He said to him, "Become my follower." And he got up and followed Him.
15 And it happened that Jesus was having a meal at Levi's house and many tax collectors and worldly people sat down with Him and His disciples, for many [of these kinds of people] became His followers. 16 And when the experts in the law of Moses, being Pharisees [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion], saw that He was eating with tax collectors and worldly people, they said to His disciples, "Why does Jesus eat and drink with tax collectors and worldly people?"
17 When Jesus heard [about] this, He said to them, "People who are healthy do not need a doctor, but [only] sick people do. I did not come to call those who do right, but sinners [instead]."
18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons]. Some people came and asked Jesus, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees' disciples fast, but your disciples do not?"
19 Jesus answered them, "Can the companions of the groom fast while the groom is still with them? As long as they have the groom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast at that time. 21 "No one sows a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, because what was supposed to cover the hole [actually] makes it larger. The new [piece of cloth] tears away from the old one and the hole is made worse. 22 And no one puts freshly squeezed grape juice into bottles made of previously used animal skins. If he does, the grape juice will [cause cracks and] burst the [dried-out] animal skins and the grape juice will [all leak out and] be wasted, and the animal skin bottles will become useless. But people put freshly squeezed grape juice into newly prepared animal skin bottles."
23 And it happened that Jesus was walking through the grainfields on the Sabbath day and His disciples began picking off heads of grain [to eat] as they traveled along. [Note: It was an accepted custom for people in that day to be permitted to do this as they walked along the paths bordering a grainfield]. 24 And the Pharisees asked Him, "Look, why are they [i.e., Jesus' disciples] doing what is against the law of Moses on the Sabbath day?"
25 And He replied to them, "Did you never read what King David did when he and his men were hungry and needed something to eat? [See I Sam. 21:6]. 26 Or how he entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] when Abiathar was head priest, and ate the 'Bread of Presence' which was not permissible, according to the law of Moses, for anyone but priests? He even gave [some of it] to those who were with him." 27 And Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath day was made for man's [benefit], and not man for the Sabbath [day's benefit]. 28 So, the Son of man is lord [i.e., has authority] even over the Sabbath day."