Mark 2

Mark 2:5

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

(a) Seeing their faith. Jesus saw the actions that accompanied the faith of those who carried the paralyzed man. The four men risked the ire of others by removing the roof of the house. They did this because they believed that Jesus could help their friend.

(b) Your sins are forgiven. Jesus forgave the paralyzed man to show us that God freely forgives us on account of grace and without any regard for our behavior (Eph. 1:7). Jesus died for us while we were sinners, and he forgave us while we were sinners (Col. 2:13). Before you repented, confessed, or did anything, the Lamb of God carried away all your sins – past, present, and future. See entry for Luke 23:34.

Mark 2:7

“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Forgive sins; see entry for Forgiveness.

Mark 2:15

And it happened that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following him.

Tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors like Levi were revenue collectors for the hated Roman occupiers, while sinners were unrighteous lawbreakers (Matt. 9:13). In the highly religious society of first-century Israel, tax collectors and sinners were social outcasts. Yet Jesus said he came especially for people like them (Matt. 9:12–13, Mark 2:17).

To the disgust of the religious leaders, Jesus befriended them and ate meals with tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 11:19, Luke 5:30, 7:34, 15:2). In turn, these sinners sought him out and enjoyed his company (Luke 15:1).

Mark 2:16

When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

(a) The scribes of the Pharisees. Some of the scribes (experts in the law) belonged to the party of the Pharisees. See entry for Matt. 5:20.

(b) Tax collectors and sinners; see previous verse.

Mark 2:17

And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

(a) The righteous refers to those who trust in their own righteousness (Luke 18:9). Self-righteous religious people, in other words.

(b) Sinners. If the original language did not lack punctuation marks, the word “sinners” would be in quotation marks. Religious people called them sinners; Jesus called them lost sheep (Matt. 10:6, 15:24).

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