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4: Calling the Sick and the Sinners (Mk 2:1-17)
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4: Calling the Sick and the Sinners (Mk 2:1-17)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

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).

B.     Key Verse

            “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 repentance” (2:17).

C.     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

II.    Observation

A.     Outline












B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1.   Refer to the passage outline. How are the events in 1-12 and 13-17 similar?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     2:1-12

1. Why was each of the following in the house?

1a. Jesus

1b. Crowd

1c. Scribes

2a. Who or what prevented the four men from bringing the paralytic to Jesus?

2b. What did the scribes do wrong? What would you have done if you were someone in the crowd?

2c. What 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 faith?

3b. How do you show your faith to Jesus?

3c. What 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 overcome them?

5a. Why did Jesus first forgive the paralytic’s sins (5)?

5b. What was Jesus implicitly claiming by forgiving the sins of the paralytic?

5c. What 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 Jesus?

B.     2:13-17

8. How is Matthew’s calling similar to that of Simon, Andrew, James, and John? (cf. 1:16-20).

9a. What did Matthew leave behind by following Jesus? Compare that to what the fishermen left behind.

9b. What 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 not?

11a. In verse 17, who were “the righteous”? Who were “sinners”?

11b. Have you ever looked down on a person? Why?

11c. What does Jesus’ words teach us about how we should view ourselves in order to receive His grace?

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