Mark 2:1-17

Mark 2:1-17

Jesus returned to His home base of Capernaum where such a crowd gathered that no one could get in or out of the house where He was teaching. But that didn’t deter four guys who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. Unable to get through the door, they climbed up on top of the house, cut a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend down to Jesus on a stretcher. Seeing their faith in action, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Some of the experts in religion were there, judging Jesus in their hearts. Who does He think He is? Only God can forgive sins! But Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He said, “Why are you judging Me? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Get up and walk.’ But, so you know that I have the authority to forgive sins …” (here He turned to the paralyzed man), “Get up. Take your stretcher and go home.” To everyone’s amazement, the man stood up and did what Jesus told him to do.

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Later, when Jesus was walking along the beach, he saw Matthew Levi, a despised tax collector, at his tax collection stand. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” So Matthew left his work and followed Jesus. Matthew invited Jesus to his house, where a collection of social outcasts had gathered. The experts in religion were horrified. They said to Jesus’ followers, “Why does your Master hang out with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and replied, “Doctors don’t make house calls on the healthy, but instead on the sick. I came here to help sinners find their way back to God.”



Tax collectors At the time of Jesus, tax collectors contracted with the Roman authorities. It was their responsibility to collect so much revenue from a region. If they collected more, they could keep the difference. The result was widespread corruption. As corrupt collaborators with Rome, they were considered to be both traitors and sinners, and were universally despised.

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