St Mark 2 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Two: Read here:

02 new wine

After Jesus and His disciples were teaching in surrounding villages, they returned again to Capernaum.

‘And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.’

It seems that the people were looking and waiting for His return. Are we ready?

‘And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy,

“Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

‘But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

“Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?”

‘And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them,

“Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,”

‘(he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

“I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”

‘And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion’ (Mark 2:1-12).

It’s interesting that Saint Mark recorded that Jesus forgave this man his sins when he saw the faith of those who carried him. How can our own faith help others? Aren’t our own children, family, and friends deserving of our faith, when they are sick or ill or down for some reason. Wouldn’t we be able to help lift them up if we showed more faith? We need to learn to seek heaven’s grace more often. We don’t need to throw up our hands in defeat. We can help bear one another’s burdens and ask for the Lord’s mercy.

Also, isn’t it interesting how many times Jesus is accused of blasphemy? Are we quick to judge the good in others as evil?

When Jesus went forth to the sea side, ‘all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them’ (vs. 13).

Can you imagine everyone leaving work and whatever occupation they were engaged in to follow Jesus wherever he went?

‘And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphæus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him,

“Follow me.”

‘And he arose and followed him’ (vs. 14).

Saint Matthew and Levi are most likely one and the same person.

Once again, when ‘Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.’ And once again, ‘when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples,

“How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?”

‘When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them,

“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (vs. 15-17).

And because they also knew that the disciples of John and the Pharisees fasted, they asked him,

“Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?”

‘And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days” (vs. 18-20).

What can be learned from the way Jesus responded to questions?

Jesus goes on to explain that you shouldn’t sew a new piece of cloth onto an old garment, or “the rent is made worse” (vs. 21). Also you shouldn’t put new wine, or fresh juice, into old bottles that might burst ‘and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles’ (vs. 22).

The Lawgiver Himself came t to preach the gospel of the kingdom. The new law that Jesus was teaching could not be patched into the old Law of Moses. The gospel could not be contained in the limits of that law. 

The Sabbath day was given by the Lord as a day of rest from the workweek and as a time of spiritual renewal. But the Jews had made many rules which they linked to The Law of Moses, the law which they had corrupted in so doing. And these rules had made the Sabbath become a huge burden to the people instead of a day of refreshment and blessing.

The Pharisees were quick to find fault again, when ‘he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn…The Pharisees said unto him,

“Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?”

‘And he said unto them,

“Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him” (vs. 23-26)?

“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (vs. 27-28).


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