Saturday, May 23, 2009


1. A few days later Jesus returned to Capernaum, and, as was typical, the word got out that He was staying at someone's house.

2. And so when it became publicly known whose house it was, people started gathering many, in fact, that there wasn't room for all of them, not even around the doors. So everyone just stood wherever they could, practically piling in on top of one another, while He was inside discussing the Word.

3. Then four men came to the location, carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They had picked the man up and brought him there with the intention of getting Him to Jesus.

4. But the crowd around the house was so thick and impenetrable that there was no way for even one of them to get through. So they climbed up on the roof and dug through it directly above Him. And when they had made a large enough opening, they let down the man's stretcher through it.

5. And when Jesus saw the boldness of their faith, the compassion that they had for their paralyzed friend, along with their undaunted determination and spontaneous ingenuity, He stopped what He was doing and immediately acknowledged them. But He said something quite unusual and unexpected to the paralyzed man...instead of speaking to his obvious physical condition, He said to him, "My son, all of your sins are completely forgiven and removed from you!"

6. Well, some of the local religious scholars happened to be there in the crowd, and when they heard these words, they started whispering among themselves, saying,

7. "Wait a minute...He can't talk that way! That's total blasphemy! God and only God has the power and authority to forgive sins!"

8. Jesus, of course, knew what they were thinking and saying...He had made this statement to evoke such a reaction from He said, "Why do you have such a problem with this?

9. I mean, which is say to the paraplegic, 'I forgive your sins,' or to say to him, 'Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking'?

10. I'll answer the question for you, and at the same time make it clear to you that the Son of Man is authorized, beyond the shadow of doubt, to do either, or both...and to reveal that the word of forgiveness and the word of healing are basically the same thing!" Then He focused on the paralyzed man, and said to him,

11. "Get up! Pick up your stretcher, carry it out of this house, and walk home!"

12. And instantly the man got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out as Jesus had commanded, with God and everyone there watching him. The religious scholars were speechless, but everybody else there was absolutely amazed. They started praising God, saying, "We have never in our lives seen anything like this!"
13. After this, Jesus went out beside the lake again, and a large crowd came to Him there, and He began to teach them.

14. When He finished, He took a walk, and as He strolled along He saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collector's booth. People typically avoided the tax collector, if at all possible, going out of their way to walk as far as they could from his booth...but Jesus went right up to him with no hesitation, and said to him, "Follow me!" This bold action on Jesus' part was so unprecedented and surprising, that Levi just got up and followed Him.

15. That night Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, and many other tax collectors (who usually were never invited to dinner parties) were there, along with many other people who had the reputation of being sinners (and were seemingly always at a party)...all eating with Him and His disciples, enjoying lively conversation, and having a good time. At this point in Jesus' ministry there was quite a large, eclectic group that followed Him.

16. When the religious leaders, namely, the Pharisees, saw Him openly socializing with and befriending this strange mix of characters...all disreputable for different reasons...they asked His disciples: "Why does He unashamedly eat with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn't He know that He is being seen with all the wrong people?"

17. On hearing this, Jesus quickly shot back, "It's not the healthy ones who need a doctor, but those who need healing. You might as well know that I have not come to call the ones you call righteous, but rather the ones that you call sinners."
18. Now John's disciples, in contrast to those who were following Jesus, were intense and very serious, and they and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people who noticed the difference came and asked Jesus, "Why is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but Yours are not?"

19. Jesus calmly answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while He is celebrating with them? They can't do it as long as He, the Guest of Honor, is still at the party.

20. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then and only then will they fast.

21. Look...I'm giving you a whole new way to think about these things. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, do they? No, because if they do, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear even worse.

22. And to further illustrate my know that people do not pour new wine into old wineskins. That's because, if they do, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined and unusable. No, they pour new wine into new perspectives...that's what I'm talking about!
23. But old wineskins (old ways of thinking) aren't so easily done away with. Case in point, one particular Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and His disciples were walking along with Him. At a certain point they became hungry, and without giving it a thought, began to pick some heads of grain there in the field and started eating them.

24. The ubiquitous and ever-vigilant Pharisees were scandalized by this, and said to Him, "Look...look...Your men are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath! Why would they do such a thing?"

25. Jesus just looked at them for a minute and then said, "Gentlemen, have you never read what David did when he and his men were hungry and in need?

26. Go look it the days of Abiathar the High Priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. Not only that...he also gave some to his companions to eat."

27. Then He said, "Don't you get it? The Sabbath was made for people...people weren't made for the Sabbath! You need to align your priorities with what is actually important to God!"

28. And if that bit of new wine was difficult for them to swallow, He made it even more challenging for their old wineskin-mindset by saying, "I can say this with all confidence because the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath!"


Northern Light said...

I realize many will blog about the situation, what Jesus said, what others said about HIM, and what people must have thought. For me, what catches my attention every time is the "visualization" of a man on a stretcher being lowered THROUGH THE ROOF (we speak as if things go UP through the roof) and instead of punishing, scolding, hollaring, what does Jesus do > AGAIN.......their boldness, such ingenuity, determination and compassion of their friend captures Jesus and he IMMEDIATELY acknowledges them and does more than they could have imagined.

HE, again as in other passages, is welcoming and some may say "rewarding" the perseverance, dogged determination, shall we call it FAITH of these that others despise for what they are doing and the attention they are creating towards their situation when Jesus is doing something else.

Boldness in faith..........Jesus loves us quite a bit, no matter what anyone else may say, eh~ I pray LOVE ME JESUS!


Pamela said...

Yes, NL this is unshakeable faith, the faith that seeks Him no matter what. This is the faith that moves mountains and this is the faith that when Jesus said we shall do a greater work, is this faith and the Christ in us that will accomplish just that.

Love, Pamela

Donald said...

Man, Jesus could blow some minds!

I just noticed something though. In verse 11 after he heals the guy who was lowered down through the roof He told him to gather his stuff and go home.

You would think that He would have told him to gather his stuff and sit down and listen to all the great things that He was about to say. I guess Jesus didn't have much of an inferiority complex.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to do what I wanted to do...spread out 24 translations, MITN and this latest chapter of MkITN...durn it!

Gut-level sensing: the personality of a different person is coming through. I don't recall noticing that in other translations. I cannot point to anything specific [had hoped to] but maybe its the realness and the flow, the connecting phrases that help make mental soundbites of Scripture melt into a awareness of the person who wrote the Gospel...a connection made to the writer...and helping remove the letter to get to the spirit of the writer. Most cool. Like a good book that makes the hero and other characters real I'm finding myself asking, "Mark!...are you gonna tell us more? V.13 is way too short! What did He teach? More on the connection of forgiveness and healing? Something new? What?'re just leaving us with 'when He finished'?"

Laugh of the day: v.24...the adolescent, "Look, look..." from the Pharisees

Wisdom pearl: v.25 the title "Gentlemen..." from the heart of their rabbi, whether they saw Him as that or not.

Playlist's "Come, Now Is the Time to Worship" just cycled on...reminds me I'm especially ready to be ITB.

Anonymous said...

This chapter is perhaps one of if not the most beautiful chapters in Mark. I want to comment appropriately but after I read a few of blogger takes on it and go to church this morning. It is a prayerful with gratitude manner in that I now say the rendering in MkITN is making the beauty of it shine brightly.

A real jewel of high value here Bishop...

Larry Usher said...

Off topic I know, but today's visitation from the Spirit of God was soul-searching, gut-wrenching & eye opening. Pastor Josh brought a word from the heart of the Father to His children. God will never be divorced from His children, never be separated, will never disown; never neglect, never abuse, but like napalm, stays on you-there's no shaking it off. He WILL continue till we are all perfected and adorned with white bridal attire!
Beautiful service...

Bro Lar

Son of Zadok said...

Psalm 145:9-17 - The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

Grace and Peace to all.

Izumi/JOY said...

The first verse.

Wow... can we grasp the honor and blessing of being able to say that about ourselves, today?

The WORD got out - liberated Himself from limited flesh cognition, and was invited, welcomed and abode at someone's house. (home address or earth forms)

10. ... "beyond the shadow of doubt" - never thought about that before. Doubt has a shadow? Christ is so beyond that.

16. Major groan. If Jesus had been seen with all the "right people", there'd likely have been infectious clucking throughout the crowd about how He was planting subversive ideas amongst them. To doubt-shadows, lovelight seems that way.

Anonymous said...

It is not easy to describe the beauty of this chapter any better than Pastor Josh did yesterday with the Word concerning Jesus not calling on Father but to God when in agony on the cross.

To me this chapter clearly shows that Jesus was aware of everything going on in its relationship to His being God among us. His healing/forgiveness of the paraplegic got the attention of the religious leaders that probably saw themselves loosing what control they had over the people through superstitious rites. That was intended not to single them out to be separated from God's goodness but more as a wake up call. This is even easier to see as this miracle, that probably caused the pharisees to follow in the shadows and watch closely for Jesus next move, is followed by the call of Levi. As it is pointed out, Levi was a well known public tax officer who had the same knowledge of those he hang out with. When the pharisees objected to Jesus associating with him, it was more likely because they did not want their own treacheries to be revealed but Jesus made His motive clear with verse seventeen.

There can be no mistake about Jesus mission and His awareness of it as indicated in verse twenty. When it is pointed out that the Sabbath was made for man and the Son of Man is the Lord of it there would have definately been a whole new catagory of things to think about than before.

I,m thankful for this gospel that gives peace and it is my prayer that all who are presently serving as well as those who have given their lives for the idea of peace, we love to talk about so much, will have the joy of knowing their sacrifices have caused a people to be grateful to God.

Izumi/JOY said...

v. 17 - I like how the pic and text alongside it, causes me to imagine how Christ's Blood covers the recipient on a cellular level.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Izumi. I love your insight on this. When I revisited it yet another thing stood out to me. Jesus fingers are embracing the ear of the young man.

Oh that we could here what is deep within us and let it be.

Anonymous said...

11. "Get up! Pick up your stretcher, carry it out of this house, and walk home!"

Just thought of something that could have been an alternative to this. In the KJV it states in verse eleven, " I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way unto thy house. "

What if the man stood on his bed and his friends pulled him back through the roof? This would be practical considering the croud and it would have been prophetic of the crucifixion, ressurection and ascension. I don't know if this is something you would want to entertain Bishop but the imagery of it thrills my imaginative spirit. It is almost like I just went there and saw this happen.

This is such a beautiful chapter.

Northern Light said...

27. Then He said, "Don't you get it? The Sabbath was made for people...people weren't made for the Sabbath! You need to align your priorities with what is actually important to God!"

28. And if that bit of new wine was difficult for them to swallow, He made it even more challenging for their old wineskin-mindset by saying, "I can say this with all confidence because the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath!"
I wonder how many of us, if we were there then, or if it happened to us today.....would hear those words and think to ourselves..... "OUCH".....

Northern Light

Izumi/JOY said...

Speechless, Anon. @ 8:39. (am actually wearing a T-shirt with Let It Be written on it!)

Izumi/JOY said...

v. 26 - I like reading that Abiather means, "father of abundance" or, "my father excels".

Was it coincidence that Jesus casually dropped Abiather's name into the conversation?

He was the 10th High Priest (a la tithe). Jesus just had dinner with Levi, the tax collector. (whose name means "adhesion" - attached, concur, support)

v. 27 - I like the flow of," You need to align your priorities with what is actually important to God!"; how it concurs and supports Abiather's name and the Lord's timing, after meeting Levi.

Izumi/JOY said...

I like looking at the pic in v. 22, wondering how it might represent human anatomy.

Anonymous said...

word verification; nycoco

Don't know why this popped out but I see it as New York City Offers Christ Opportunity

Perhaps it is a subliminal thought in connection with Bishop's mention of his love for the Big Apple. Only been there once myself but still love it and somehow feel like I will return there several times yet.