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Mark Chapter 02

Memory verses for this week:  Luke 9:5  And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

Introduction: We continue with our study of Mark Chapter 2 this week.  In the last half of Chapter 1, Jesus cast out demons there in Capernaum as he also healed many who had sicknesses.   Jesus taught in the synagogues all through Galilee, and was always about helping the people with whatever the problem.   We closed with Jesus healing a man of leprosy.  We begin Chapter 2 seeing Christ heal a man with the palsy.


I.  The Man with Palsy is Healed

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

After Jesus traveled throughout all of Galilee, he returns unto Capernaum.   The news that He had returned spread through out the city.  If you remember at the close of last weekís lesson, Jesus had healed the leper.  Jesus had to withdraw into desert places because the leper whom He had healed didnít obey what Jesus had requested that he do, but had gone out and told everyone. So then the crowds pushed upon Him and our Lord couldnít do His work.   As the crowd gathers, the press is great and there was no more room for anyone to enter.  They could not even make their way to the door because of the number who had gathered.   Jesus healed those who were sick, but always remember that his  main purpose was that he preached the word of God to the people.   Our focus as a church should ever be to lift up the name of Christ to a lost and dying world.

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

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.

Four men, apparently friends of the man who had the palsy, bring this man to Jesus.  The man could not come to Jesus by himself.   This is the way of the sinnerÖ on his own he can not deal with his sin debt.  No money or works will remove our sins.  Only Jesus can take away sin.   The four men canít get through the door, but they donít give up.  They were determined, and they climb up on top of the house and take part of the roof off so that they can lower the bed down to the Lord.  This should be a lesson to all of us.. even when we think  it is impossible to get to Jesus, we can come to him if we keep on.   If you pray and it seems your prayers donít get past the ceiling, you need to be serious with the Lord and petition Him again and again.   The Lord is moved by our needs and hears our prayers. 

1 John 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

1 John 5:15  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.  

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

Jesus was moved by their faith.  Our faith is something that can be seen, and these men had a lot of it to bring the man to the Lord.  They knew where the power to be healed was, and it was in Jesus.   Jesus saw their faith, and first forgave the man of  his sins.  We show our faith by our works it says over in James.

James 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

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

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

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?

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?

The fact that Jesus forgave the man of his sins proved that Jesus was God.   Jesus not only could forgive, but He had the power to know their thoughts.   He knows our thoughts too.   And Jesus knows if we are strong in our beliefs or weak.  The scribes had the belief that a man could not be healed of an infirmity until all his sins had been forgiven.   Jesus questions them and asks, ďWhether is it easier to say to the sick of palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up they bed, and walk?Ē 

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,)

Mark 2:11  I say unto thee, 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.

Jesus wanted them to know the truth, and he heals the man so that they might know that He really was God with power to forgive sins.   It would easy to say ĎThy sins be forgivení since you could not really tell if it were true.   But to make a lame man walk would be a miracle.   To say ďArise, and take up they bed, and go they way into thine house.Ē would put Jesus on the spot.   Either he would be true or would be a liar.   Forgiving sins was no harder for Christ than to heal the man of the palsy.   He was God.


II.  The Call of Levi

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

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.

Notice that Jesus was always about teaching the people.  God has always wanted the best for his people, but so many will not listen.  One of my good friends, Bobby Garcia, was talking with me last night.   We agreed that the reason that so few people are coming to Christ today is partially due to this false teaching that sin is conditional based up the situation you are in.  This New Age teaching is nothing but a lie from Satan himself.  Sin is sin, and it is based upon what Godís Word says, not whether we determine in our minds if it is sin or not.     Until a person recognizes themselves as a sinner and in need of a Savior, they will never be saved.

Jesus passes by Levi and tells him to ĎFollow me.í  Levi was a tax collector, and a man that no doubt was not popular with the people.   Some things in society have not changed much after over 2,000 years, and I can honestly say that tax collectors are not well viewed even today.    The great thing about Levi is that he didnít procrastinate or question whether if be a good idea, but he arose immediately and followed Him.  Oh that we could see people make that decisive decision to follow Christ today.   We seem to be too comfortable in our homes and jobs to consider the call of the Lord.   But one day, the most important decision you ever made will be whether you accepted Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior.

Mark 2:15  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.

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?

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.

The Pharisees were always seeking a way to find fault with Jesus.  They see Christ eating with publicans and sinners, and question why he is doing this.   I donít know about you, but I am so thankful Jesus wants to have something to do with sinners.  If he didnít, none of us would have a hope of eternal life.   Jesus responds to their question, and tells them that he has come to those who were sick.   He came to call sinners to repentance.   Thank God that Christ had compassion on the sinner.   The Pharisees perceived themselves to be righteous, but none of us are righteous without Christ.


Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Rom 3:12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:13  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Rom 3:14  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Rom 3:15  Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Rom 3:16  Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Rom 3:17  And the way of peace have they not known:

Rom 3:18  There is no fear of God before their eyes.


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 of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

Mark 2:19  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.

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.

The question is  raised about why Jesusí disciples did not fast.  Johnís disciples fasted, the Pharisees were always fasting, so they want to know why Christís disciples did not.   Jesus tells them that there would come a time when His disciples would truly fast.   They did not fast to bring on  something, but because something was taken away from them.  Once Christ has been taken out, we look for Christís return.   And it honestly could be any day.

Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


1 Th 1:6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1 Th 1:7  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

1 Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

1 Th 1:9  For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1 Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.



III.  Parable of the Cloth and the Bottles

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.

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.

When Jesus taught about the sewing of a new cloth into an old garment, he was making it clear that spiritual religion, true Christianity, was not to be patched on to legalistic Judaism.   We no  longer under the law, but are in a new dispensation called the dispensation of grace or the church age.   The second figure about the old and new bottles was teaching that the Christian religion can not be mixed with Judaism.

Gal 3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Gal 3:20  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.


J. Vernon McGee said this about putting the new wine into new bottles.

The Lord is giving two illustrations about this new life of love and fellowship with Him. He is saying that He did not come to polish up the Law. He didnít come to add to the Mosaic system. He didnít come to add a refinement or a development to it. He came to do something new. He didnít come to patch up an old garment but to give us a new garment.

Under the Law men worked, and their works were like an old moth-eaten garment. Our Lord came to provide a new robe of righteousness that comes down onto a sinner who will trust Christ. This will enable him to stand before Almighty God. This is the glorious, wonderful thing that He is saying here, friend. Our Lord didnít come to extend or project the Law of the Old Testament system or of religion. He came to introduce something new. And that which is new will be the fact that He will die for the sins of the world. New wine goes into new wine skins. A new garment goes onto a new man. That robe of righteousness comes down on one who through faith has become a son of God. This is a tremendous thing!   [i]


IV.  Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath

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.

It is important to realize that the disciples were not stealing this corn.  By the law, they had a scriptural right to pluck the ears of corn.   The ďcornĒ is the Greek sporima, meaning sown fields of grain. It may have been barley, or it could have been wheat. The disciples were plucking the grain and eating, which the Pharisees interpreted as harvesting grain and threshing it on the Sabbath. The Law permitted people to pull the grain.  [ii]

Deu 23:24  When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

Deu 23:25  When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.

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

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?

Mark 2:26  How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the showbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

Mark 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

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

The Pharisees charged that the disciples were working on the sabbath day, a law that should not have been broken.   Jesus answered their criticism by calling attention to what David did when he went into the temple and ate of the showbread.  The lesson we learn from this is that the satisfying of human need is more vital than the observance of religious ritualism.  Godís laws were written that man might live, not to die.  The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  In other words, He was saying the rest of  the Sabbath was to help man.  Good laws are created for the benefit of mankind.  Jesus tells them that He is Lord of the sabbath also.   How should we observe the Lordís Day?  One way is to be in Godís house and not forsaking the assembling of ourselves as many do today.  But the main thing is that we should do those things that we know would be pleasing to the Lord of the Sabbath.


W. A. Criswell said this about the Sabbath in the Believers Study Bible.

These verses contain two controversies about the same subject: the Sabbath and its proper use. The Pharisees, because of their additions to the law and ritualistic human traditions, had turned the Sabbath into something God never intended. Jesus confronts their misuse and restores the Sabbath to its proper state. Jesus also confronts the Pharisees concerning their insistence on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. God made the Sabbath so that man could cease from his labor and find refreshment. The Pharisees had turned the idea of refreshment into something very restrictive, so restrictive that even sustaining life and doing good were questioned. The concept of Sabbath comes from the early chapters of Genesis when God ceased His creative activity, not because He was exhausted but because His work was complete (cf. Gen. 2:1Ė3). Sabbath rest, then, is the ceasing of normal pursuits to find refreshment in the worship and service of God. The Pharisees insisted on total inactivity and made the Sabbath a burden rather than a time of refreshment. The Sabbath was a ďsignĒ between God and the nation of Israel (cf. Ex. 31:17) and is therefore a Jewish observance. Indeed it is the only commandment of the Decalogue not reaffirmed in the New Testament. Because of the resurrection, the Christian day of worship is the Lordís Day (Sunday, the first day of the week), rather than the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday, the seventh day of the week). [iii]



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]W.A. Criswell, Believerís study Bible [computer file], electronic ed. , Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991 by the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies.