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Mark 2:1-17

Mark 2:1-17

1. Jesus establishes that He is God (verse 5) by offering forgiveness to the paralytic man (Jesus was saying “God is not angry with you anymore”)

(a) Only YHWH forgives sins (Psalm 103:3; 2 Samuel 12:13)—anyone else who claims to forgive sins blasphemes
(b) Such offer shocked the religious persons in the crowd (verse 7)—“Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

2. Jesus validated His offer of forgiveness by healing the paralytic (verse 10), which only YHWH could do (Isaiah 35:5-6)—logical deduction or enthymeme

(a) Jesus demonstrated that God is restoring people back to Him (although we are concerned about our externals, God is concerned about relationship with Him)
(b) Jesus demonstrated God’s attitude toward humanity—love and restoration
(c) God is not what they thought Him to be—vindictive, angry, and casting people out

3. After establishing that He is God, Jesus reaches out to Matthew, a tax collector (verse 14)

(a) Matthew probably worked for Herod Antipas— one of the worst extortionist
(b) Because of his profession, people hated Matthew—it was his choice (unlike illnesses like leprosy, paralysis, etc.)
(c) Jesus (God) reaches out to Matthew, who was hated by the people
(d) Matthew probably was shocked—“me!”
(e) Matthew chooses the new relationship over the old one

4. Jesus (God) establishes an intimate relationship with Matthew—the table fellowship (verse 15; cf. Revelation 3:20 Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me)

(a) The old one was characterized by: extortion, defilement, wrong associations, etc.

(b) The new life is characterized by: being with Jesus

(b1) He left his business (different from leaving the boats) and company of influencers
(b2) He took a position behind Jesus (symbolically, Jesus became Matthew’s leader)
(b3) Jesus’ (God’s) unconditional acceptance of Matthew (and tax collectors and sinners) brings transformation in his life

5. Jesus extends “grace” to the undeserving people, who could not claim any credit before Him

6. Interestingly, undeserving people stood closer to God than those who claimed righteousness

7. Take Away

Take a position behind Jesus