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21: Jesus Returns to Capernaum and Continues to Teach

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Mark 2:1-17

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 9:1-13    Mark 2:1-17    Luke 5:17-32

Outline:

  1. Jesus Teaches and Heals the Paralytic                  Mark 2:1-12
  2. Jesus Teaches and Calls Levi [Matthew]             Mark 2:13-14
  3. Jesus Eats and Explains His Mission                   Mark 2:15-17

Context/Discussion/Comment:

Jesus has returned from touring the Galilean countryside and is back in Capernaum.  His fame has grown and the people clamor to her Him teach and to continue His healing ministry.  This event might have taken place at Peter’s house.  I assume that Jesus stayed here while in Capernaum.  Or He could have stayed at the houses of different disciples.  Nevertheless, Jesus is teaching at someone’s house and some men bring a paralytic friend to be healed.  They could not get close to Jesus so they climb onto the roof, remove or peel back a portion of the roof and lower their friend in front of Jesus.  [What risks are you willing to take to introduce a friend to Jesus?]  Upon seeing their faith, Jesus pronounces that the man’s sins are forgiven.  Some teachers of the law were in the crowd and they immediately accused Jesus of blasphemy.  Jesus counters their accusations by asking them if it is easier to say “your sins are forgiven” or “take up your bed and walk”.  To show His divine authority, Jesus proceeded to heal the man.  The crowd was amazed once again and praised God.

On another occasion Jesus is walking along the Sea of Galilee teaching.  He comes upon Matthew and calls him personally as He did Peter, Andrew, James, and John.  Matthew invites Jesus to dinner along with His other disciples.  The Pharisees followed Him and saw Him eating with Matthew’s tax collector friends.  The Pharisees ask Jesus’ disciples why Jesus is eating with sinners [some may even have been gentiles].  Jesus overhears them and explains that His purpose is to minister to the sick and sinners and not the healthy and righteous.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Jesus has the power to heal both body and soul. The sick and sinners have
    priority with Him.
  2. The spiritual hungry will be in the crowds seeking Jesus. Meeting the physical
    and spiritual needs of visitors in your church should be your first priority.
    Surround them and introduce them to Jesus.
  3. Faith is expressed with unique and extraordinary action, including risk.
    Acting on faith may require taking risks. Don’t be afraid to take them.
  4. Miracles show Jesus’ physical powers and validate His spiritual powers.
    Yes, they happen today too. Look for them. Recognize them. Then praise God
    with a thankful heart.
  5. Miraculous life-changing teaching will bring rebuke from religious leaders.
    Be discerning concerning their criticism. It may be valid or it may be from
    jealousy. But the later is more apt to be true.
  6. Jesus chooses the layman over religious leaders to work on His behalf. The
    layman has more opportunity for genuine contact. His witness is more trustworthy
    and credible because it isn’t a paid position.
  7. Jesus places a priority on the spiritual needy and humble. He is more concerned
    with who you are that what you are. The unrighteous take priority over the
    self-righteous.

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