Mark 2:13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
While Jesus was preaching in a house, friends of a man suffering from palsy lowered him down from the rooftop.
Mark 2:4 And when they could not come near 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. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you.
Then certain of the scribes reasoned – who can forgive sins? Thinking Jesus had committed blasphemy. So as Jesus returned to the seaside, a multitude followed him.
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 is Matthew. His father is Alphaeus. Alphaeus in Greek means Changing. He is believed to be the father of both Matthew and another of the apostles, called James the Less.
Some scholars identify the father of Levi with the father of James the Less, and hold that Levi and James were brothers.
Matthew was a publican or tax collector. As a result, he lived a very comfortable life. He was well-educated and knew how to read and write in several languages, including Greek. He could have moved comfortably in political circles.
In spite of all he had, he walked away from it all to follow Jesus.
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.
Jesus selects a man who can bring others, sinners, along with him.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Jesus also called on Zacchaeus
Luke 19: 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at your house.
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 eats and drinks with publicans and sinners?
Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil.19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Matthew 21:28 But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said 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 Changes Us, He is the great physician that scripture called for and foretold would come.
Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment has taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Jesus the Great Physician:
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
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 your disciples fast not?
This question comes from the disciples of John.
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples fast not?
Everybody is self-righteous in his or her own wisdom. This is also the first visit of John’s disciples as a whole to deal with Jesus. Notwithstanding, two of John’s disciples had followed Jesus and became his disciples.
John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. They are believed to be Andrew and John.
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.
While the bridegroom is present at the wedding, it is a time to feast and be merry. It is not a time of sorrow, longing or fasting. Fasting is to separate or deprive oneself of the world to become in tune with God. They were presently with God in Jesus, thus had no need to 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.
Jesus foretells that the day will come when He will return to Heaven and the children of God will have to fast to commune with Him and tune our the world.
Mark 2:21 No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up takes away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
Now Jesus ties the two questions together. The Scribes were concerned about His eating with sinners; and the disciples of John were questioning His lack of fasting (not eating). If He eats, He is accused. If He refuses to eat, He is accused.
Jesus is saying the wine of the Old Testament, nor the misunderstanding of John’s disciples can be put into New Testament wine vats.
The thinking of the scribes is clear in regards to the Old Testament. The real challenge is a lack of fully understanding the New Testament. And Jesus challenges them both.
Paul writes: 2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Mark 2:22 And no man puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine do burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
In order for any person to truly receive Jesus, the Great Physician, the Savior, our New Wine, and New Testament, they must be changed into new creatures in order to hold the new relationship created by Jesus for us with God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
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