January 15, 2020 – Mark Chapter 2
Mark 2:1-5 Through the Roof!
This famous story calls us to consider how many of us it might take to get someone to Jesus. How might we work together to connect someone with the salvation that He brings? Mark also gives us detail about this stage of Jesus’ ministry, He is well known enough in Capernaum that His every appearance there draws a huge crowd. There could even be a lesson here that not everyone is going to be helped by crowded events. Many individuals need to encounter Him in a setting that addresses their individual need.
Mark 2:6-12 Easy for Jesus?
“Which is easier? To say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Get up, take your mat and walk?’” Well. Which IS easier? We drift sometimes between allowing Jesus authority to heal, but not to do a work in the human heart, or on the other hand, to forgive sins from the throne in heaven, but we disbelieve in the idea that He might intervene in our physical circumstances. Jesus cheerfully declares the ability to do both. Both healings and forgiveness are miraculous works that represent heaven reaching Earth. Jesus knows motivations and thoughts.
Mark 2:13-17 Party at Levi’s House
Levi, who is eventually called Matthew, bears the name of the priestly tribe. It is a word-connection that tells us that Matthew/Levi is meant for better things. Matthew’s friends would not all be of a responsible, orderly sort. The person coming from the wrong crowd has genuine religious feeling, but knows not (or cares not) how he or she is expected to behave. Nor can such people be expected to have anything but a sketchy reputation. The Pharisees will four times oppose Jesus in this chapter. We are not just to say, ‘Well, don’t be a like a Pharisee,’ but also see how their questioning gives us an opportunity to see who Jesus is.
Mark 2:18-22 Eating and Not Eating
So does religion have a place in telling us to eat and drink, or not eat or drink? The answer would seem to be that it is response to God that is important. What God is doing in Christ is bringing the promised salvation to His people, so rejoicing and feasting are appropriate. Fasting to seek for Israel’s redemption is not needed, because the King is at hand! This new Kingdom of God is the essential behind the metaphor of the new wineskins. Note that Jesus does promise that we will fast and mourn, and while this foreshadows the crucifixion, it also means that when we fall out with the Lord and have grown distant from Him, fasting, praying and sorrowing are all part of our response to feeling absent from Him.
Mark 2:23-27 The Lord of the Sabbath
Jesus would know the joy of a Sabbath Day. It was his custom to be in the synagogue, and the day of rest is a wonderful way to acknowledge that is is God who does the providing for us.
The Pharisees seem to recognize that Jesus has authority over His disciples, but He claims more authority than they bargained for. By saying that He is Lord of the Sabbath, He is saying He has rights to direct the spiritual life of the apostles that extend beyond even what a figure like David would have had. So in this one chapter, Jesus has alluded to his death, talked about the religious life of the Jews, (Sabbath and fasting) and declared He is more than just man.
The ‘Son of Man’ is a phrase Jesus uses in reference to Himself. It is literally translated, son of man, and its meaning is “The One,” “The Guy”, or even “You know who.”