To truly experience the peace that Jesus offers, you must truly know who He claims to be.
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Mark 2 (ESV)
1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2 And many were gathered together,
so that there was no more room,
not even at the door.
And he was preaching the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd,
they removed the roof above him,
and when they had made an opening,
they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith,
he said to the paralytic,
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there,
questioning in their hearts,
7 “Why does this man speak like that?
He is blaspheming!
Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 And immediately Jesus,
perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them,
“Why do you question these things in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?
10 But that you may know that
the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”—
he said to the paralytic—
11 “I say to you,
pick up your bed,
and go home.”
picked up his bed
and went out before them all,
they were all amazed and glorified God,
saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
13 He went out again beside the sea,
and all the crowd
was coming to him,
and he was teaching them.
14 And as he passed by,
he saw Levi
the son of Alphaeus
sitting at the tax booth,
and he said to him,
And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners
were reclining with Jesus and his disciples,
for there were many who followed him.
16 And the scribes of the Pharisees,
when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors,
said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them,
“Those who are well
have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick.
not to call the righteous,
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting.
And people came and said to him,
“Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
19 And Jesus said to them,
the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 The days will come
when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast in that day.
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment.
If he does, the patch tears away from it,
the new from the old,
and a worse tear is made.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.
If he does, the wine will burst the skins—
and the wine is destroyed,
and so are the skins.
But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields,
and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.
24 And the Pharisees were saying to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
25 And he said to them,
“Have you never read what David did,
when he was in need
and was hungry,
he and those who were with him:
26 how he entered the house of God,
in the time of Abiathar the high priest,
and ate the bread of the Presence,
which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat,
and also gave it to those who were with him?”
27 And he said to them,
was made for man,
not man for the Sabbath.
the Son of Man is lord
even of the Sabbath.”
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Mark 2 Summary
v1-12 - The people throng around Jesus like He's a rock star, and the paralytic is famously lowered down for Jesus to heal.
When Jesus forgives the man's sins, it opens a rift between Jesus and the establishment (Pharisees, religious professors, etc) that will widen and get deeper until they hang Jesus on the cross.
v13-17 - The rift between Jesus and the establishment gets worse as the most hated sinners in society end up being the people most attracted to Jesus' teaching.
v18-22 - The establishment is offended that Jesus doesn't follow their arbitrary fasting rituals.
v23-28 - Jesus runs afoul of the establishment's holy grail of man made rule keeping: the Sabbath.
Notice that every section of this chapter involves the Pharisees making an accusation against Jesus, and each time they are technically correct:
Only God has the authority to forgive sins;
It is not healthy for a Godly person to surround himself with people living overtly sinful lifestyles;
Fasting can be a worthwhile Spiritual Discipline, although it's never actually universally commanded by God in the Bible;
The Sabbath should be a day when God's people rest from working.
The problem, of course, is that the establishment completely misses who Jesus is:
Jesus is claiming to be God when He forgives the man's sins;
Jesus came to call sinners to forgiveness;
Jesus, who is Immanuel (God with us), supersedes whatever religious practices people follow to bring themselves closer to God;
Jesus, the Son of Man, is Lord even of the most holiest day of the week.
Ultimately, the establishment missed out on the peace Jesus came to offer them because they twisted good theology into self centered religion.
Don't make their mistake. Be sure you know Jesus for who He actually is, not who the world often twists Him into.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who can forgive our sins;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the courage to follow Jesus as Mathew did (v14)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: