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A Study of the Gospel of Mark

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Mark 2   [KJV]

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

1And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2And 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.
Q1. "Jesus came home (or "He was in the house"); to what does "home" refer?

3And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Q2. "Some men came": what do you think is their relationship to the "one sick of the palsy" (or paralyzed)?

4And 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.

     NOTE: Construction of the typical house is thought to consist of stone walls, with fairly flat roofs made of mud and straw and some sticks and logs. There was generally an outside stairway leading to the roof.

Q3. What did these men do to a house that was not their own?
Q4. What does this say about their belief in Jesus?
Q5. Where do you think these friends received their belief?

5When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee
Q6. Why did Jesus say, "thy sins be forgiven thee" (or "your sins are forgiven")?

6But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

     Leviticus 24:15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. (16) And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

Q7. From a religious leader's viewpoint why were Jesus' words disturbing?
Q8. Was Jesus implying that He was equal to God?

8And 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?
Q9. Imagine sitting there and then suddenly being confronted by this man, with the very concerns you hadn't voiced, but were merely thinking about! If it had been you, do you think that you would have recognized Jesus divinity?

9Whether 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?
Q10. Why didn't Jesus just heal the paralytic? Why did He begin with "Thy sins be forgiven thee" (or "Your sins are forgiven")?

10But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

     Daniel 7:13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. (14) He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

     John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Q11. What does "Son of Man" mean to you?

12And 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.
Q12. How could anyone doubt Jesus after this?

The Calling of Levi

13And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 14And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
Q13. Levi collected Roman taxes from his countrymen. What did his countrymen think of tax collectors?
Q14. Were tax collectors poor? Or wealthy?
Q15. Did Levi appear to hesitate before he obeyed Jesus?
Q16. Do we today hesitate to obey Jesus?

15And it came to pass, that, as 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. 16And 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?
Q17. A "publican" is a Roman tax collector [Nave's Topical Bible]. Do you think the people were happy to have a Teacher of the Law partying with them?
Q18. How do you think these people reacted to Jesus?

17When 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.
Q19. What does "righteous" mean?
Q20. Are we "sinners"?
Q21. Jesus said He came to "call the… sinners"; did Jesus come to call us, too? Is "repentance" important?

Jesus Questioned About Fasting

18And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
Q22. What is "fasting"?
Q23. Does it seem important in the Bible?
Q24. Why were "some people" concerned whether Jesus' disciples fasted?

     NOTE: The ancient practice of fasting had a rich heritage in Judaism. The Day of Atonement was celebrated with a fast (Lev 16:29, 31). A four-day fast commemorated the fall of Jerusalem (Zech 7.3, 5; 8.19). Fasts could be acts of penitence (1 Kings 21.27; Joel 1.14; Is 58.1-9) or could be associated with mourning (Esther 4.3). Pharisees fasted twice a week, on Monday and Thursday (8.12; Didache 8.1; Behm 1967a.924-35). Fasts are serious expressions of worship. [InterVarsity Press New Testament Commentaries, © Copyright 1995-2005 Gospel Communications International]

19And 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.
Q25. Jesus referred to Himself as "the bridegroom". Do you see a connection between penitence (or mourning) AND the joy and gaiety surrounding a wedding celebration? (Hint: Jesus didn't either.)
Q26. What did Jesus mean, when He called Himself the "bridegroom"?
Q27. Do you think this word picture of Jesus the bridegroom was used in the Old Testament to describe the messiah?
Q28. Since this is a new description of the Messiah, could this signal the beginning of a new covenant (a binding promise) between God and mankind?

20But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Q29. What event does the phrase "bridegroom will be taken from them" represent?
Q30. Why will followers of Jesus then begin to fast?

21No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
Q31. What would happen if a tailor sewed a new (unshrunk) cloth over a tear (or rent) in an old garment?
Q32. If Jesus is talking about a new covenant, to whom might the new cloth refer? And what might the old garment represent?

22And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Q33. If Jesus is talking about a new covenant, to whom might the new wine refer? And what might the old wineskin (or bottles) represent?

Lord of the Sabbath

23And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. 24And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Q34. Were the religious leaders closely watching Jesus? If so, why?
Q35. What was the religious reason for declaring that picking "ears of corn" (or heads of grain) was unlawful?

     Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

25And 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? 26How 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?
Q36. Who was David in Jewish history?
Q37. What point(s) was Jesus making to the religious leaders?

     1 Samuel 21:6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Q38. What are people supposed to do on the Sabbath?
Q39. Who is the "Son of Man"?
Q40. What did the "Son of Man" mean when He said He "is Lord also of the Sabbath"?

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