There are four specific stories in Mark Chapter 2. Each story presents a different point that is either outright presented or is masked inside of a story. Jesus usually told stories to help explain His true meaning. Let’s dive into the next part of the journey of Jesus now as we read through Mark Chapter 2.
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
Starting off this part of Jesus’ story we go into Capernaum, which can be determined is Jesus’ home town because it says that He returned home. Along comes a group of men carrying their friend to see Jesus because they heard of the stories of Jesus healing the sick.
Stop the story: Mind you, the house they are in is considered to be Jesus’ house because the words describe Jesus as coming home. Okay continuing with the story….
Not being able to go inside because of the crowd the men carried their friend up to the roof. They then cut open the ceiling and lowered their paralyzed friend down to Jesus so that he might heal him. Jesus saw their faith and told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Let’s again stop here in the story and grasp what just happened. This group of friends trusted and believed that Jesus was who He said He was. They believed He could heal those in need so much that they carried their friend to the top of not just any house, but Jesus’ house. This part of the story is so important. These friends represent the community we have in each other and other fellow Christians. The friends of the paralytic man took the burden of their friend and literally carried it up to Christ. The paralytic man could not have made it to Christ without the help of his friends. We need that community to help us carry our burdens to the cross. It is like it is explained in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” We are supposed to help others take their burdens to the cross for us, and we are to let others take our burdens as well.
Moving on with the story. In verse 7 the scribes do not believe that Christ is the Son of God. They actually say, “He is blaspheming!” Wait what? They don’t believe that Christ is the Son of God? Well this is actually foreshadowing when Jesus is on trial for His life in Mark 14:64. The council didn’t believe that He is the Son of God either. Jesus knew that the scribes were questioning Him because in verse 8 it says that Jesus perceived it in His Spirit. This leads me to John 2:25 where it explains that Jesus knew what was in the heart of men. Jesus knew what the scribes were saying about Him not being able to heal the paralytic man. Jesus turned to the man and told him to rise and to pick up his bed. The paralyzed man did as Jesus instructed and all were amazed. How cool is it that Jesus could make a man walk? Just think what Christ can do in our hearts and our lives if we only have faith and trust in Him!
Jesus Calls Levi
Levi was a tax collector, and he was not liked by pretty much everyone. Tax collectors were seen as untrustworthy and sinners in the eyes of others. Jesus asked Levi to follow Him, and Levi did just that. Of course, there were the scribes that questioned Jesus and wondered why He wanted Levi and other tax collectors to be seen with him. Jesus told them in verse 17 through a story of a physician, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
Jesus did not come to save the ones who already believed in Him. He came to save the broken and the lost. Those who already believed in Jesus were to help Him spread the truth. Jesus chose Levi because he was broken and lost. Levi just needed someone to look at him and say, “Come on. Let’s be friends.” Levi is an example of us. We were broken and lost before Christ. Having Christ on your side feels amazing, and that is what Levi needed as well. The scribes, however, can also be us unfortunately. We have all done it. We have looked at someone who we knew their past life trying to find God and think, “Why are they here.” Every one of us needs God. All of our stories of how we found God is different. Sometimes we just needed to be completely broken to find Him. Next time you get those thoughts from the enemy to judge someone like the scribes did, think back to how it was for you when you found God. Put yourself back into the shoes of Levi when Jesus asked Levi to come and follow Him. We should take in the broken and hold them close like God. Jesus came to save all of us, even the broken!
Questions About Fasting
Fast forward a little and we are with Jesus and his disciples in a place where others are fasting except for the disciples. John the Baptist’s followers were fasting and so were the Pharisees. Jesus was questioned why His disciples were the only ones not fasting. Jesus goes into a story with three different examples. The examples are a bridegroom, cloth, and wineskins. All three represent three different things.
Jesus tells the story about the bridegroom being with their guest where all are eating and spending time together. When the bridegroom leaves their guest, this is when they will fast for the departure of the bridegroom. Jesus was describing what was going to happen to Him. He was explaining that the disciples, as well as others, needed to be in the moment as long as possible because at some point He would not physically be there with them.
Jesus represents the new life that people can have. He represents the new age teaching. The Pharisees were part of the old ways. This small story describes that putting old and new together may not mix. They needed to embrace the change that Jesus brought.
The wineskin story is an example of the kingdom of God. What Jesus was sent down to do would not fit in the way of what the world saw to be right. He was sent to burst the old and revive the new. The main point for this is that you must be willing to change your life and how you live it to have God make that everlasting change in you.
This part in Jesus’ journey helps us see that we must go out and tell those who don’t know of Him about the truth.
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath
During this instance Jesus and His disciples are working on the Sabbath and are “caught” by the Pharisees. Jesus explains to them why He can go against not working on the Sabbath. He uses David as an example, which can be read in 1 Samuel 21:1-6. David was able to eat the bread of the temple because he of what he was doing for the Lord. The refusal of not working on the Sabbath as well as the refusal of fasting that we talked about in the last section has a meaning. This was Jesus giving proof that the King was in their presence, and that the kingdom of God was bursting out into the world. Jesus testified that the Sabbath was for the Son of God, not for man.
As we look at the points made throughout Chapter 2 in Mark we are able to understand more clearly what God intended us to do. We are to go out and tell others of His truth, regardless of what they do or who they are. Jesus came to save the broken. We are the hands and feet of God, so we must go out and help share what we know with others who may not know.
God, thank you for using me to help bring light into the world. I pray that my heart may be strengthened in you so that I may go out and spread your love. I pray that you help me not judge others, but instead open my arms to those hurting and broken. Help me bring an impact to my world, so that You are able to use those I impact to change the world.