4: Calling the Sick and the Sinners (Mk 2:1-17)
As word of what Jesus had said
and done reached the scribes, they grumbled among themselves. They rejected
Jesus because of His words and because He associated with sinners. Their
opposition continued to increase until they openly accused Jesus of being
demon-possessed (3:22) and plotted to kill Him (3:6).
“Those who are well have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to
Did You Know…?
1. Jesus probably was teaching in
Simon’s house. The house roofs were usually made of wooden beams with thatch
and compacted earth in order to shed the rain. Sometimes tiles were laid
between the beams and the thatch and earth placed over them. Access to the roof
was by means of an outside stairway.9/632 The family would sleep
there, and use it as a living room during the day, as well as a storeroom,
where raisins, figs, flax, were spread out in the sun.5/544
2. Blasphemy (2:7): From the Greek
blasphemeo, which means, “to
slander.” Generally, it refers to slandering against God.9/222There are two general forms of blasphemy: one is
attributing evil to God, or denying Him glory and praise. The other is claiming
a creature to be God. The punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning.4/174
3. Levi (2:14): Another name for
Matthew (Mt 9:9), author of the first book of the New Testament.
4. Tax collectors/publicans
(2:15): Local Jewish men employed by Roman tax contractors to collect taxes.
Because they worked for Rome
and often demanded unreasonable payments, tax collectors were generally hated
and considered to be traitors.7/1447 A tax collector was stationed
in a tax booth, which brought daily contact with all classes of the population,
including the Gentiles,4/1254-5
whom many Jews despised.
5. Pharisees (2:16): Literally,
“Separated Ones.” They were teachers in the synagogues, religious examples in
the eyes of the people and self-appointed guardians of the law and its proper
observance. They considered the interpretations and regulations handed down by
tradition to be virtually as authoritative as Scripture.7/1545
to the passage outline. How are the events in 1-12 and 13-17 similar?
1. Why was each of the following
in the house?
or what prevented the four men from bringing the paralytic to Jesus?
did the scribes do wrong? What would you have done if you were someone in the
are some difficulties today in asking Jesus for help? How might you be an
obstacle to someone who wants to come to Christ?
3a. Verse 5 says, “Jesus saw their
faith.” How did the paralytic show his faith? How did the four men show their
do you show your faith to Jesus?
can we learn from the four men in bringing people to Christ?
4. What are your
weaknesses/shortcomings? How can a brother or sister in Christ help you
did Jesus first forgive the paralytic’s sins (5)?
was Jesus implicitly claiming by forgiving the sins of the paralytic?
did the healing of the paralytic prove?
6. Are miracles necessary to
maintain your faith, or to preach to someone?
7. What does verse 8 reveal about
8. How is
Matthew’s calling similar to that of Simon, Andrew, James, and John?
did Matthew leave behind by following Jesus? Compare that to what the fishermen
have you left behind by following Christ? What have you gained?
10. In verse 15, Mark mentions
“many tax collectors and sinners.” Is it a derogatory reference? Why or why
verse 17, who were “the righteous”? Who were “sinners”?
11b. Have you ever looked down on
a person? Why?
does Jesus’ words teach us about how we should view ourselves in order to
receive His grace?