v1-12 - Jesus' brand new ministry has captured attention, and when He comes 'home' to Capernaum (this was His adopted home town. He actually grew up in Nazareth) a massive crowd gathers, and Jesus began using His preferred method of capturing their hearts and minds: "He preached the word to them (v2)."
A group of men came carrying a paralytic friend, and because of the crowd, they famously lower their friend from the roof so he could be healed.
Upon seeing this man lowered down, Jesus "saw their faith (v5)" and then said something quite puzzling:
"Son, your sins are forgiven (v5)."
This isn't exactly what this group had in mind; they simply wanted their friend to be able to walk.
It also captured the attention of the establishment, whose blasphemy alarms were going off bigtime in their heads.
Jesus, anticipating the establishment's response, looks straight at them,
and told them "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins (v10)."
To add an exclamation point to that last sentence, Jesus told the paralytic to get up and walk home.
v13-17 - As Jesus walked and taught, He saw one of the least like Jews in the community - a tax collector. His name was Levi, but you know him better as Matthew.
Jesus simply said "follow me," and without hesitation Matthew followed, giving up his massively lucrative business to follow this homeless teacher. Would you do that?
When the establishment sees Jesus socializing with these outcasts, they're understandably upset. Jesus shifts their (and our) thinking by reminding them about who Jesus came for - sinners, not the 'righteous' (v17).
v18-22 - Once again, the establishment challenges Jesus only to be silenced by Him.
v23-27 - As if it wasn't enough for Jesus to socialize with the most hated people in society, He now pushes the buttons of the establishment by challenging one of their identifying cultural practices: keeping the Sabbath.
The establishment had put up all sorts of rules and regulations designed to safeguard their people from breaking the very simple rules God had given regarding the Sabbath, to the extent that picking a few heads of grain on the Sabbath was regarded as 'reaping.'
Jesus challenges their made up rules with logic from the Scriptures.
The chapter ends with a statement from Jesus that probably made the veins pop out in anger on the heads of the establishment:
The Son of Man is Lord even on the Sabbath (v28).
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Jesus references the time David was given consecrated bread. Read about in 1 Samuel 21:1-9. This is a fascinating story. Look at the context of it and see if you can count how many lies David tells the priest. Why do you think Jesus chose this story for His example?
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What city is the location of this chapter’s opening scene, in which the paralyzed man is lowered through the roof? (See verse 1.)
In Colossians 3:1 we read this command: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” What have you personally observed about Jesus Christ in this chapter that would be worthy of setting your heart on?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The creator God, who rested on the seventh day, and then commanded us to rest in Him every seven days.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the courage to follow Jesus as Mathew did (v14)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: