Devotional # 8 (11/12/12). A paralytic is healed and the call of Matthew. [by Jenna Fogle]
This weeks reading: Mark 2:1-17
vv. 1-2. This is setting the scene for what is to happen next. Jesus is in a house and once people hear He is there they got to hear Him preach. Notice there was no room left in the house for anyone else to fit to hear Jesus.
vv. 3-4. Here we meet some guys who have brought their paralytic (someone who could not walk and possibly not move his arms either) friend to see Jesus. Well we read in v. 2 that there was no longer any room in the house, so these guys take their friend up on the roof, cut a hole in the roof and lowered him down to where Jesus was.
v 5. Jesus sees that the paralytic had so much faith that he took great risk to see Him and so forgives the paralytic mans sins.
vv. 6-7. Once Jesus says this the scribes (the authorities on Jewish law) think to themselves that Jesus is speaking blasphemies (defined in Merriam Webster as “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God”, in other words, speaking lies about God). You see only God can forgive sins, and because the Jewish leaders didn’t recognize Jesus as God then in their minds He was speaking blasphemies.
vv. 8-11. Here Jesus perceived, or just knew, what the scribes were thinking about Him so he asks them which is easier forgiving sins, something that is just said with no real way of checking, or telling a man who can’t walk to get up and walk, something that would cause physical change and show the result of the command. So to prove to them that He is God and can forgive sins he tells the paralytic to get up and walk.
v. 12. The paralytic then takes up his mat and walk out of the room, much to the amazement of everyone.
v. 13. We now see Jesus is down by the sea teaching again the groups of people who gather where ever He is.
v. 14. Levi the son of Alphaeus is more commonly know as Matthew. He is a tax collector, which is someone who collected taxes from the Jews for the Roman government; tax collectors are pretty much hated, so Matthew wasn’t very popular. Here we see Matthew being called to be one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. All it takes is for Jesus to ask Matthew to come and he drops everything and follows Him, showing great faith and readiness for forgiveness.
vv. 15-16. In these two verses we see Jesus eating dinner at Matthew’s house with some of Matthew’s friends and business associates. Since Matthew is a tax collector by profession he of course hangs out with other tax collector and other sinners. This really disgusts the Pharisees who ask how can one who claims to be who Jesus claims to be hang out with such trash?
v. 17. To which Jesus replies that it is the sick people who need a doctor not the well. Then says He has came to call the sinners to repentance (recognizing you are a sinner, feeling bad and wanting forgiveness for your sins), not the righteous, who because they thought so highly of themselves that they didn’t think they needed forgiveness.
Summary: This week we saw Jesus work a miracle, call a disciple and teach us about forgiving sin. We need to remember that God alone makes us righteous and every single person on earth is in need of the Great Physician to heal our sin.