Mark 2 Commentary


John Mark

MARK: THE SERVANT JESUS


Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Chart from Charles Swindoll-right side of page

THE LIFE OF CHRIST SHOWING COVERAGE BY MARK (SHADED AREA)


Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Mark 2:1  When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.

NET  Mark 2:1 Now after some days, when he returned to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home.

GNT  Mark 2:1 Καὶ εἰσελθὼν πάλιν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ δι᾽ ἡμερῶν ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἐν οἴκῳ ἐστίν.

NLT  Mark 2:1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home.

KJV  Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

ESV  Mark 2:1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.

NIV  Mark 2:1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.

ASV  Mark 2:1 And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was noised that he was in the house.

CSB  Mark 2:1 When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home.

  • again: Mk 1:45 Mt 9:1 Lu 5:18 
  • and it: Mk 7:24 Lu 18:35-38 Joh 4:47 Ac 2:6 

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Parallel Passages

Mt. 9:1–8 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city (ONLY MARK CALLS IT CAPERNAUM = "HOME BASE OF OPERATIONS" SO TO SPEAK).  2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 5 “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 6 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he got up and went home. 8But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Lk 5:17+ (NOTE WORDS IN BOLD ARE NOT IN MARK'S VERSION) One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. 18 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 “But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”–He said to the paralytic–“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

JESUS BEGINS HIS SECOND
TOUR OF CAPERNAUM

When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward  - Afterward refers to after the events between His previous departure and return, days associated with the healing of the leper and His movement to "unpopulated areas." (Mark 1:40-45+) Matthew says "Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city." (Mt 9:1)

Capernaum -  Capernaum (Kfar = village + Nahum = "Nahum's Village) was a city of Galilee (Lk 4:31+), in the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas on the border of his brother Philip’s domain. (map of Jesus' Ministry in Galilee) and was 680 feet below sea level (cf Nazareth at 1200 ft above sea level so Nazareth to Capernaum is "straight downhill" so to speak), located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee and began Jesus' "headquarters" during His Galilean ministry. Mt 4:13+ tells us after "leaving Nazareth (BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF - READ ABOUT HIS RECEPTION AND REJECTION IN Lk 4:24-27, 28, 29+), He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali."Capernaum was the largest city on the lake because it was a crossroads of a major trade routes. It had a customs tax office and a Roman garrison because it was a potential area of crime because there was so much action, so much trade, so much travel traffic. One modern source  refers to Capernaum as "a ruined town in northern Israel, on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee." If you click the aerial view of Capernaum above, you will see all that is left of this city once the headquarters of the Light of the world. Why is this once prosperous city now in ruins? In Lk 10:15+ Jesus warned the city that because it had rejected the Light (Jesus actually lived there), "you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!" In a parallel statement by Jesus in Matthew He warned "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” (Mt 11:23-24, cf Jn 1:11+, Mk 6:11) Jesus the Light of the World (Jn 1:4-9+, Jn 8:12, Jn 9:5) had resided in Capernaum and shed much spiritual light in the city, speaking the word with authority (Mk 1:22+), healing illness and casting out demons (Mk 1:34+) and yet for the most part there is no record of belief in Him as Savior and Redeemer. John spoke about the danger of rejecting the spiritual light of Jesus

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 “While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke (IN JERUSALEM), and He went away and hid Himself from them. 37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. (Jn 12:35-37)

THOUGHT - The present ruins of the physical city of Capernaum are but a dim metaphorical picture of the spiritual doom that ultimately befell the souls of those who lived there and are now "ruined" forever in Hades and who have a future appointment to experience the  Second Death when they are thrown into the Lake of firethe place of eternal punishment in Gehenna (Rev 20:15+), "into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt 8:12), "where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Mk 9:48). Dear reader, may God grant you the fear of the Lord and a proper fear of His righteous wrath and if you have not yet done so, that you by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9+) receive Jesus as YOUR Savior, Redeemer and Lord. If you steadfastly refuse His offer of grace, one day that day of grace and the door of grace will be closed and you too will be suffer the fate of Capernaum, for you too are consciously choosing (volitionally) to continually reject the Light, even as that ancient city did! (read 2 Cor 6:2, Acts 16:31+, Ro 10:9-10+)

It was heard that He was at home - Even without texting and email, the mouth to ear to mouth word that Jesus was in town spread rapidly. At home undoubtedly is a reference to Peter's home, which had become a “base of operations” which is a military term and apropos for Jesus was continually engaged in spiritual warfare with the powers of darkness battling for the lost souls of men! In Mt 9:1 Capernaum is referred to "His own city."  (cf Mk 1:33+, Mk 3:20; Mk 9:33; Mk 10:10). 

I love the way Kent Hughes sets the stage for the miracle in Capernaum - Alpine hikers have told me that when caught in a brewing storm, they have seen the hair of their fellow-hikers stand straight out from their heads like radiant crowns, while the metal frames of their backpacks glowed with an eerie neon-like blue light called “St. Elmo’s Fire.” The same phenomenon has been recorded by sailors from ancient times when they would see the tops of their ships’ masts crowned with a ghostly aura of light. In all cases it means that the air is charged with electricity and that lightning is imminent. For the hiker it means it is time to discard the pack and take cover. I think this image conveys something of the atmosphere in Capernaum as described in our next text, Mark 2:1–12.

Mark 2:2  And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them.

NET  Mark 2:2 So many gathered that there was no longer any room, not even by the door, and he preached the word to them.

GNT  Mark 2:2 καὶ συνήχθησαν πολλοὶ ὥστε μηκέτι χωρεῖν μηδὲ τὰ πρὸς τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον.

NLT  Mark 2:2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God's word to them,

KJV  Mark 2:2 And straightway (bold only in Textus Receptus) 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.

ESV  Mark 2:2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.

NIV  Mark 2:2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.

ASV  Mark 2:2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, no, not even about the door: and he spake the word unto them.

CSB  Mark 2:2 So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them.

  • straightway: (eutheos) ONLY IN THE KJV Textus Receptus - Mk 2:13 1:33,37,45 4:1,2 Lu 5:17 12:1 
  • and he: Mk 1:14 6:34 Ps 40:9 Mt 5:2 Lu 8:1,11 Ac 8:25 11:19 14:25 16:6 Ro 10:8 2Ti 4:2 

And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room - Many? How many? We don't know but there were so many that the door was blocked, an important fact as the story unfolds. Luke 5:17 tells us "there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem."

Not even near the door - The door of Peter's house (cf Mk 1:33). The residents of Capernaum had not forgotten that incredible day some time before when "the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons." (Mk 1:33-34+)

Gathered together (assemble, gather together, invite, store)(4863)(sunago from sun = with + ago = to lead, ) means literally to lead together.  To gather together persons for any of several reasons including worship, deliberation, festivity, battle, work, hospitality, or reconciliation. In this they came to see Jesus

And He was speaking the word to them - Speaking (laleo) is in the imperfect tense - over and over. The Word (logos) which came with authority every time He spoke. The parallel passage in Lk 5:17 says He was teaching (didasko) also in the imperfect tense. Who is them? Clearly there were many from Capernaum. But Luke tells us that there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law (KJV = "doctors of the law") sitting there, the first mention of the Pharisees in Luke. 

Mark 2:3  And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.

NET  Mark 2:3 Some people came bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.

GNT  Mark 2:3 καὶ ἔρχονται φέροντες πρὸς αὐτὸν παραλυτικὸν αἰρόμενον ὑπὸ τεσσάρων.

NLT  Mark 2:3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.

KJV  Mark 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

ESV  Mark 2:3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

NIV  Mark 2:3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.

ASV  Mark 2:3 And they come, bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy, borne of four.

CSB  Mark 2:3 Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic, carried by four men.

  • bringing: Mt 9:1,2-8 Lu 5:18-26 

A POOR PARALYTIC WITH
FOUR GREAT FRIENDS

And they came - Who is they? Four men carrying another man. 

Spurgeon has a message entitled Carried by Four - THERE ARE CASES WHICH WILL NEED THE AID OF A LITTLE BAND OF WORKERS BEFORE THEY WILL BE FULLY SAVED. Yonder is a householder as yet unsaved: his wife has prayed for him long; her prayers are yet unanswered. Good wife, God has blessed thee with a son, who with thee rejoices in the fear of God. Hast thou not two Christian daughters also? O ye four, take each a corner of this sick man's couch, and bring your husband, bring your father, to the Saviour. A husband and a wife are here, both happily brought to Christ; you are praying for your children; never cease from that supplication: pray on. Perhaps one of your beloved family is unusually stubborn. Extra help is needed. Well, to you the Sabbath-school teacher will make a third; he will take one corner of the bed; and happy shall I be if I may join the blessed quaternion, and make the fourth. Perhaps, when home discipline, the school's teaching, and the minister's preaching shall go together, the Lord will look down in love and save your child. We now pass on to the second observation, that SOME CASES THUS TAKEN UP WILL NEED MUCH THOUGHT BEFORE THE DESIGN IS ACCOMPLISHED. They must get the sick man in somehow. To let him down through the roof was a device most strange and striking, but it only gives point to the remark which we have now to make here. If by any means we may save some, is our policy. Skin for skin, yea, all that we have is nothing comparable to a man's soul. When four true hearts are set upon the spiritual good of a sinner, their holy hunger will break through stone walls or house roofs. (Carried by Four)

Bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men -  These four men were “friends in need” who were proving to be “friends indeed.” And remember unlike lepers, paralytics were not ostracized by society and did not need to cry "Unclean! Unclean!" The paralytic like all with severe disease/disability were stigmatized because of the false notion of the Jews that all such maladities were related to the person's sin, which of course is not true. Even His own disciples had bought into this false teaching and when they  encountered a blind man John records that "His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” (Jn 9:2) Jesus answered them immediately declaring  “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." (Jn 9:3) 

Paralytic (3885)(paralutikos from paraluo = to paralyze = verb in Lk 5:17-26 - pará = from + lúō = to loose) is one who is lame, crippled or paralyzed, disabled or weak of limb, usually  in the feet or legs and unable to walk. KJV has "sick of the palsy."

Paralutikos - 10x in 9v - Matt. 4:24; Matt. 8:6; Matt. 9:2; Matt. 9:6; Mk. 2:3; Mk. 2:4; Mk. 2:5; Mk. 2:9; Mk. 2:10. Not found in Septuagint. 

Mark 2:4  Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

NET  Mark 2:4 When they were not able to bring him in because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Jesus. Then, after tearing it out, they lowered the stretcher the paralytic was lying on.

GNT  Mark 2:4 καὶ μὴ δυνάμενοι προσενέγκαι αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον ἀπεστέγασαν τὴν στέγην ὅπου ἦν, καὶ ἐξορύξαντες χαλῶσι τὸν κράβαττον ὅπου ὁ παραλυτικὸς κατέκειτο.

NLT  Mark 2:4 They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.

KJV  Mark 2:4 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.

ESV  Mark 2:4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.

NIV  Mark 2:4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.

ASV  Mark 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the crowd, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy lay.

CSB  Mark 2:4 Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

  • they removed: Dt 22:8 Lu 5:19 

Click to enlarge

FOUR GREAT FRIENDS
WITH GREAT DETERMINATION

Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd - These four men had faith, but their faith was not mystical but practical! Why do I say that? They believed Jesus had the power to cure their friend, but they exerted considerable effort to bring him to Jesus! Vicarious faith is a "working faith." It almost sounds unorthodox for faith alone saves, but the faith that saves also works as in this illustration. Luke 5:18-19 says "they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd." Mark 2:2 explains that "there was no longer room, not even near the door." 


Click to Enlarge

They removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening - See schematic above from Faithlife.com (Logos) which shows flat roof and mud/straw matrix of a typical first century house in Israel. 

They let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying -  The house must have had an outside stairway to allow them to get the man on the roof. Imagine this scene! Luke says Jesus was teaching (Lk 5:17+) and all of a sudden the rafters start shaking. Some in the room probably thought it was another miracle, and in fact it was preparation for one. This miracle would be greater than the physical healings they had seen Jesus perform, because this miracle would result in soul healing, the greatest need of the paralyzed man and all men fro all paralyzed by the fall of Adam! We are all cripples in need of Christ! 

Luke 5:19+ says "they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus."

Matthew 9:2 just says "they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed."

NET Note - A house in 1st century Palestine would have had a flat roof with stairs or a ladder going up. This access was often from the outside of the house.

Barclay on a typical house in that day - The Palestinian house was flat-roofed. The roof had only the slightest tilt, sufficient to make the rain water run off. It was composed of beams laid from wall to wall and quite a short distance apart. The space between the beams was filled with close packed twigs, compacted together with mortar and then marled over. It was the easiest thing in the world to take out the packing between two beams. In fact coffins were very often taken in and out of a house via the roof.

Marvin Vincent's comments on Mark 2:4 - Lit., scooped it out. Very graphic and true to fact. A modern roof would be untiled or unshingled; but an oriental roof would have to be dug to make such an opening as was required. A composition of mortar, tar, ashes, and sand is spread upon the roofs, and rolled hard, and grass grows in the crevices. On the houses of the poor in the country the grass grows more freely, and goats may be seen on the roofs cropping it. In some cases, as in this, stone slabs are laid across the joists. See Luke 5:19, where it is said they let him down through the tiles; so that they would be obliged, not only to dig through the grass and earth, but also to pry up the tiles. Compare Ps. 129:6.

The bed (krabatton - different word from Luke's "stretcher" - klinidion = a small couch). One of Mark’s Latin words, grabatus, and condemned by the grammarians as inelegant. A rude pallet, merely a thickly padded quilt or mat, held at the corners, and requiring no cords to let it down. They could easily reach the roof by the steps on the outside, as the roof is low (Ed: some say only 6 feet); or they could have gone into an adjoining house and passed along the roofs. Some suppose that the crowd was assembled in an upper chamber, which sometimes extended over the whole area of the house. It is not possible accurately to reproduce the details of the scene. Dr. Thomson says that Jesus probably stood in the lewan or reception-room, a hall which is entered from the court or street by an open arch; or he may have taken his stand in the covered court in front of the house itself, which usually has open arches on three sides, and the crowd was around and in front of him.

Paralytic (3885) see note above on paralutikos 

Mark 2:5  And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven.

NET  Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

GNT  Mark 2:5 καὶ ἰδὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ, Τέκνον, ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι.

NLT  Mark 2:5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My child, your sins are forgiven."

KJV  Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

ESV  Mark 2:5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

NIV  Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

ASV  Mark 2:5 And Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.

CSB  Mark 2:5 Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

  • And Jesus seeing their faith: Ge 22:12  Joh 2:25 Ac 11:23 14:9 Eph 2:8 1Th 1:3,4 Jas 2:18-22 
  • said to the paralytic: Mk 2:9,10 Isa 53:11 Mt 9:2 Lu 5:20 7:47-50 Ac 5:31 2Co 2:10 Col 3:13 
  • Son: Mk 5:34 Mt 9:22 Lu 8:48 
  • sins: Job 33:17-26 Ps 32:1-5 90:7-9 103:3 Isa 38:17 Joh 5:14 1Co 11:30 Jas 5:15 

FOUR FRIENDS WITH
VICARIOUS FAITH

Samuel Chadwick writes "By “vicarious” we mean something done for and instead of another. It is substitutionary. The vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ means that Christ suffered in our stead, and died for our sins. So there is a faith that is exercised in behalf of another, and is accepted for another." (See his full sermon below)

And Jesus seeing their faith - Who is "their?" This seems to be all 5 men (Mark 2:3 says four men carried the paralyzed man). Not only does Jesus see their faith, but He sees the greater need! They all had confidence in the power and willingness of Jesus to heal this desperate case. Their actions were the visible evidence of their faith. The faith referred to here was evidenced by the strenuous actions of the men.  The aggressive, persistent effort of the paralytic’s friends was visible evidence of their faith in Christ to heal. What a repair bill Peter must have had when it came to replacing the torn-up roof.

THOUGHT - THESE 4 HAD VICARIOUS FAITH (SEE ADDITIONAL NOTE BELOW) -- BUT WHAT IS VICARIOUS FAITH? Obviously we as believers cannot take others to Heaven with us based solely on our faith. Each soul must express his or her own personal faith in Jesus? So what is vicarious faith as seen in these 4 men whose faith resulted in another man being brought to Jesus? Simply this -- they believed Jesus could heal their paralyzed friend if they could get him to Jesus. How is this vicarious faith manifested today? When we pray for others to believe in Jesus is that not vicarious faith. I prayed for my 2 youngest children for 20 years before they surrendered to Jesus! My father prayed for me for 20 years before I believed! Here are thoughts from A B Bruce on Luke 5:18-26 (the parallel of Mark 2:1ff). He writes "We have here a distinct recognition of the value of intercessory prayer, or, if I may so express myself, of vicarious faith. God, we learn therefore, hears prayers of believing men offered up not for themselves but for others. (1) This doctrine is Scriptural. Abraham, Moses, &c. (2). This doctrine is reasonable. It can give a good account of itself before the bar of philosophy. It is a wise, God-worthy policy to encourage men to pray, live, and even die for one another, in the assurance that they pray not, live not, die not in vain. (3). The duty arising out of the foregoing doctrine is plain. It is without ceasing to desire and to pray for the well-being, spiritual and temporal, of all men, specially of those whose case Providence brings closest home to us. (Read the following passages and see if you can discern the principle of "vicarious faith." - Mk 5:25-34; Mk 7:24-30; Mk 10:46-52; Mt 8:5-13. And then practice "vicarious faith." 

Spurgeon - Christ has eyes with which he can see faith. You and I cannot see it; but he can: “When he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins be forgiven thee.” This was going to the very root of his disease. Jesus knew what the man really ailed; he was palsied in spirit as well as in body, and Christ removed the root of his disease by forgiving his sin.

Robertson on their faith - The faith of the four men and of the man himself. There is no reason for excluding his faith. They all had confidence in the power and willingness of Jesus to heal this desperate case.

Hendriksen - though the five did not talk, they trusted! And that was what really mattered. The confidence of the five touched the very heart of Jesus, who now, in accents tender yet firm, said to the paralytic, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” It was definitely the faith of the five that caused these words to flow from the Savior’s lips. For corroborating passages, showing how very important Jesus regarded faith to be, see Luke 7:9, 10; 8:48, 50; 17:19; 18:42; and see also Heb. 11:32 f.

Robert Stein - The faith of the paralytic and the men was manifested by their “works,” i.e., their removal of the tiles to lower the paralytic. A favorite expression of Luke was “your faith has ‘saved’ you” (cf. Lk 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42). For the tie between faith and miracles, cf. Lk 7:9, 50; 8:25, 40, 50; 17:5, 6, 19; 18:42.

Morris - It was not the faith of the palsied man, but the faith of His friends that prompted Jesus to heal the man. However, the man must have exercised repentance and faith as well, for Jesus to forgive his sins. Significantly, he was immediately "glorifying God" after his cure (Luke 5:25; see Matthew 9:6).

G Campbell Morgan - “Jesus seeing their faith.” That is the statement which first arrests attention on reading the story. Details are not given here, beyond that of the faith with which these men came. (Mark) tells us that they broke up the roof, and let the sick man down into the midst. The fact here standing out is, that “He saw their faith.” There has been a good deal of speculation as to whose faith is referred to, but of one thing we may be perfectly sure, it was not only the faith of the men who brought him. “Their faith” demands some other interpretation; it demands the faith of the man, as well as the faith of the men who brought him, because Christ said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” It would appear that our Lord saw that in his heart there was a desire for something deeper than physical healing; and that he was conscious that physical disability was the result of his own sin; and therefore with a great tenderness, in words thrilling with the music of the evangel He had come to create, He said to him, in effect: “Be of good cheer I am able to deal with the deepest matter; thy sins are forgiven.” That word was a response to faith. And yet, while we believe there was faith in the heart of the man himself, we must not miss the important fact here that there is such a thing as vicarious faith. It is possible to help a man’s faith. “Jesus seeing their faith.

Barclay on seeing their faith - When Jesus saw their faith—the eager faith of those who stopped at nothing to bring their friend to Jesus won his cure. It still happens. (i) There are those who are saved by the faith of their parents (ED: He means because the children were led to Jesus by their parents' faith). Carlyle used to say that still across the years there came his mother’s voice to him, “Trust in God and do the right.” When Augustine was living a reckless and immoral life his devout mother came to ask the help of a Christian bishop. “It is impossible,” he said, “that the child of such prayers and tears should perish.” Many of us would gladly witness that we owe all that we are and ever will be to the faith of godly parents. (ii) There are those who are daily saved by the faith of those who love them. When H. G. Wells was newly married and success was bringing new temptations to him, he said, “It was as well for me that behind the folding doors at 12 Mornington Road there slept one so sweet and clean that it was unthinkable that I should appear before her squalid or drunken or base.” Many of us would do the shameful thing but for the fact that we could not meet the pain and sorrow in someone’s eyes. In the very structure of life and love-blessed be God—there are precious influences which save men’s souls.

Faith (4102)(pistis) as it relates to God, is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ in this specific context it represents a strong conviction that Jesus could meet the needs of the paralytic, for similar healings had already occurred. This is the first mention of pistis in Mark's Gospel

Said to the paralytic son, your sins are forgiven. - You've got to love Jesus! The others in the room see this man's physical paralysis, but Jesus sees his spiritual paralysis, and forgoes the healing of less important, for the "healing" of the more important. Oh to have eyes to see as Jesus sees! Mt 9:2+ adds that Jesus said " Take courage (tharseo) son." Luke 5:20+ says Friend instead of son. When Jesus said your (singular) sins are forgiven imagine the reaction of the religious "super elite" - their legalistic, hypocritical, evil stingers would have "popped up" so to speak, vibrating like scorpions ready to inject their deadly venom (25 species are known to be able to kill humans)! While their theology was largely corrupt, this much was orthodox, for they knew that only God could forgive sins. But notice the striking irony. The ones that were suffering from the more deadly unseen paralysis were the Pharisees, not the man on the cot. They were paralyzed by their critical spirit, their lack of love, their inability to show compassion and worst of all their hard-hearted unbelief. Indeed, the scribes and pharisees were spiritual cripples, and without faith in Christ the Healer, their "paralysis" would take them to perdition, while a forgiven paralytic would pass on to paradise! Amazing irony! Amazing grace!  And the verb are forgiven is in the present tense, indicating his sins were continually forgiven. The very One pronouncing this forgiveness, would a few years later become the very One who would assure continual forgiveness by becoming the Lamb of God Who takes away (present tense) the sin of the world (Jn 1:29+). 

The man had need for physical healing but Jesus saw his greater need for spiritual healing, the need of all men whether physically fit or lame! Jesus' statement was considered blasphemy, since it was clearly understood to be a claim of being equal with God. The application of this story for us today is clear - To help our friends find forgiveness, we must bring them to Jesus who has authority to forgive sins. Forgiven means once and for all time - see Ps 103:12; Isa 1:18; 55:6, 7; Jer 31:34; Mic 7:19; Jn 1:29. In the OT Nathan the prophet said to David "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." (2 Sa 12:13). In contrast to Nathan who said Jehovah forgave his sins, Jesus personally forgives their sins! He is clearly saying indirectly that He in fact is Jehovah and that He was exerting divine authority!

Jesus' statement could signify that this man's paralysis was a result of sin, but one cannot be dogmatic. Sin induced disease was a common thought among the Jews but John 9:1–3 shows in that case Jesus rejected this line of reasoning regarding every illness.

John 9:1-3 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Ryrie adds in his note on Php 2:30 - Epaphroditus was dangerously ill from overwork. Sickness may also be due to specific sin (1 Cor 11:30) or to prevent sin (2 Cor 12:7) or to test (Job. 2:7) or to display the glory of God (John 9:2), and because of demons (Acts 5:16). Of course, sickness, for whatever reason, ultimately is related to our fallen humanity.

To be sure all sickness and paralysis (whether spiritual or physical) is ultimately the result of Adam's fall and the entrance of the corrupting influence of sin into the world (Ge 2:17).

Paralytic (3885) see note above on paralutikos 

Sins (266)(hamartia) literally conveys the idea of missing the mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow (in Homer some hundred times of a warrior hurling his spear but missing his foe). Later hamartia came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. Hamartia in the Bible signifies a departure from God's holy, perfect standard of what is right in word or deed (righteous). It pictures the idea of missing His appointed goal (His will) which results in a deviation from what is pleasing to Him. In short, sin is conceived as a missing the true end and scope of our lives, which is the Triune God Himself. As Martin Luther put it "Sin is essentially a departure from God."

Are forgiven (863)(aphiemi from apo = prefix implies separation + hiemi = put in motion, send; See noun aphesis) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation and means to send from one's self, to forsake, to hurl away, to put away, to put off. Aphiemi conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation bringing about total detachment from a previous condition. In secular Greek aphiemi initially conveyed the sense of to throw and in one secular writing we read "let the pot drop" (aphiemi). From this early literal use the word came to mean leave or let go.

Here the Son of Man, God incarnate, sends away the sins of the paralytic healing him spiritually. And don't miss the fact that the verb forgiven is in the perfect tense which indicates the abiding state of the forgiveness, in essence the permanence of divine forgiveness! Once Jesus forgives a person of their sins, He does not take that declaration back and "un-forgive" a forgiven person. Once forgiven by Jesus, forever forgiven! The passive voice indicates the power to forgive the sins of the paralytic came from without, ultimately from God (the so-called "divine passive"). As an aside forgiven in the perfect tense supports the truth of eternal security (see discussion of Eternal security), the assurance of your salvation. Once you are truly saved, you cannot lose salvation (a truth seen even with the verb tense in Lk 5:20!)

MacArthur on forgiveness Forgiveness is both mankind’s greatest need, and God’s most important gift—and the only means for blessing in this life and eternal life in heaven. Jesus Christ came into the world to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21; cf. 26:28), and “through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43; cf. 5:31; 26:18; Eph. 1:7; 4:32; Col. 1:14; 2:13–14; 3:13; 1 John 1:9; 2:12; Rev. 1:5). Forgiveness is the distinctive message of the Christian proclamation (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 13:38). But forgiveness has always been the offer of redemption, so it is also the message of the Old Testament. After Adam and Eve sinned, “the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). Killing animals to provide those garments pictured the ultimate sacrifice of Messiah, whose death would cover the shame and guilt of sin. The Lord described Himself to Moses as “the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin” (Ex. 34:6–7; cf. Num. 14:18). Nehemiah 9:17 calls Him a “God of forgiveness.” In Psalm 65:3 David wrote, “Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, You forgive them,” while in 86:5, he declared, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” In Psalm 103:12, David depicted the extensiveness of God’s forgiveness when he noted that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” In 130:3–4, the psalmist expressed his confidence in God’s forgiveness: “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” Speaking of the promised forgiveness in the New covenant, God declared, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:34). Micah joyously exclaimed, “Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?” (Mic. 7:18; cf. Isa. 55:7). The Old Testament likens God’s forgiveness to His casting sins behind His back (Isa. 38:17), wiping them out (Isa. 43:25; cf. 1:18; 44:22), trampling them under His feet (Mic. 7:19), and burying them in the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19). (Luke Commentary)

TSK - The Jews believed that not only death but all disease was the consequence of sin.  "There is no death without sin, nor any chastisement without iniquity;" and that "no diseased person could be healed of his disease till his sins were blotted out."  Our Lord, therefore, as usual, appeals to their received opinions, and asserts his high dignity, by first forgiving the sins, and then healing the body of the paralytic.


Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our well-known secular humanists and novelists, said, "What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me."


Steven Cole - Sometimes a severe problem—a health problem, an emotional problem, a family problem, a financial catastrophe—can be the best thing in the world for us. Later, this man would have looked back on his paralysis and thanked God for it, because if he had never been paralyzed, he never would have begged his friends to carry him to Jesus. He never would have heard those words, “Your sins are forgiven.” With the psalmist, he could say, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Ps. 119:67). Jesus wasn’t necessarily implying that the man’s paralysis was the direct result of his sins. It may have been. In opposition to the rabbis of His day, Jesus taught that while all suffering is due to the fall of the human race into sin, not all suffering is due to specific sin on the part of the individual (Luke 13:1-5; John 9:1-3). But Jesus knew that the main need of every sinner is not to get our health or emotional or financial or whatever problems solved. Those problems should drive us to seek God. When we do that, it becomes clear that our main problem is our alienation from Him due to our sins. Thus forgiveness of sins is our main need.


Mattoon - A childhood accident caused poet Elizabeth Barrett to lead a life of semi-invalidism before she married Robert Browning in 1846. There's more to the story. In her youth, Elizabeth had been watched over by her tyrannical father. When she and Robert were married, their wedding was held in secret because of her father's disapproval. After the wedding, the Brownings sailed for Italy, where they lived for the rest of their lives. But even though her parents had disowned her, Elizabeth never gave up on the relationship. Almost weekly she wrote them letters. Not once did they reply. After 10 years, she received a large box in the mail. Inside, Elizabeth found all of her letters; not one had been opened! Today those letters are among the most beautiful in classical English literature. Had her parents only read a few of them, their relationship with Elizabeth might have been restored. If people would only take time to read the Bible, and such verses as listed above, they could realize how much the Lord loves them. They would restore the relationship with the Lord that their sin has ruined by seeking Christ's forgiveness and cleansing.

EXCURSUS ON
VICARIOUS FAITH

 

EDITORIAL NOTE - CAUTION - HERE IS A DEFINITION OF "VICARIOUS FAITH" FROM "NELSONS' NEW CHRISTIAN DICTIONARY" -

"Doctrine that one might have faith on behalf of another, as for example, parents on behalf of their children or a spouse on behalf of a mate."

THIS DEFINITION COULD BE MISCONSTRUED! PARENTS MIGHT LEGITIMATELY HAVE FAITH "ON BEHALF OF THEIR CHILDREN" (ESPECIALLY AS EXPRESSED IN PRAYING FOR THEM), ETC, BUT THAT IN NO WAY REPLACES THE ABSOLUTE NEED OF THAT CHILD TO EXERCISE PERSONAL FAITH IN JESUS FOR IT TO BE CREDITED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THEIR ACCOUNT! IN OTHER WORDS A PARENT'S FAITH CANNOT BE "TRANSPOSED" TO AN INFANT TO JUSTIFY "INFANT BAPTISM." AS AN ASIDE, PERSONALLY I BELIEVE INFANTS WHO DIE AS INFANTS GO TO HEAVEN, BUT THAT IS IN NO WAY RELATED TO THE VICARIOUS FAITH OF THEIR PARENTS! 


Sermon by Samuel Chadwick - VICARIOUS FAITH

  “And Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.”—S. Mark 2:5.

The healing of the man sick of the palsy is an instance of vicarious faith. By “vicarious” we mean something done for and instead of another. It is substitutionary. The vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ means that Christ suffered in our stead, and died for our sins. So there is a faith that is exercised in behalf of another, and is accepted for another. This palsied man received both the forgiveness of his sins and the healing of his body, through the faith of the men who brought him. It was not simply a co-operation of their faith with his, it was accepted instead of his. There may have been an element of faith in the man himself, but there is no mention of it (ED: I DISAGREE SLIGHT AND THINK THE PARALYTICS OBEDIENCE AND GLORYING WERE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH), and the emphasis is laid on the faith of the men who carried him to the feet of Jesus (ED: I WOULD AGREE GIVEN THAT ALL THREE SYNOPTIC ACCOUNTS MENTION THIS DETAIL). Seeing their faith, He saith, not to them, but “unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.”

When a vital principle has been discovered at any given point of the Scriptures, it is wonderful how it is afterwards seen to be in every part. (ED: HAS THIS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE? IT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE IN A NUMBER OF PRINCIPLES, ESPECIALLY OUR NEED FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO OBEY EVERY ONE OF THE NT COMMANDS TO BELIEVERS). Men are sometimes reproached for finding the Gospel in Genesis and Holiness in Leviticus, but they find them there because they are everywhere. So it is with vicarious faith. That which seemed to be an exception is discovered to be a law of the Kingdom. Of the twenty-four miracles of healing recorded in the Gospels, at least seven were healed entirely through the faith of others. It is not simply the faith of the strong coming to the help of the weak, but a faith prevailing for the helpless apart from any faith of their own.

I. INSTANCES OF VICARIOUS FAITH

Recall the more conspicuous instances of the vicarious exercise of faith, and see how true this is.

There came to Jesus in Capernaum “a centurion beseeching Him and saying, Lord, my servant lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And He saith unto him, I will come and heal him.” (Mt 8:5-13+) The thought of such condescension overwhelmed the Centurion, and he protested that he was not worthy to receive Him under his roof, and argued from his own authority that it was not necessary He should come. If He would only say the word, his servant would be healed. Jesus marvelled, and declared that He had not found a faith so great, even in Israel; and turning to the Centurion, He said, “Go, thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And the servant was healed in that hour.” Whose faith healed him? Not the servant’s, but his master’s. Not a word is said about the faith of the man who was healed. It is attributed entirely to the faith exercised vicariously for him.

On another occasion there came from Capernaum to Cana of Galilee a nobleman whose child was sick, and he besought Jesus “that He would come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.” (John 4:46-53, 54+) Instead of yielding at once as in the case of the Centurion, He began to reprove the spirit that cannot believe except it see signs and wonders. Impatient of delay, and too distressed to be interested in abstract discussions, the father of the dying child burst into an impassioned appeal: “Lord, come down ere my child die.” There was no moment to be lost. Twenty-five miles had to be travelled, and even now it may be too late. He did not conceive healing to be possible without contact. Neither the passionate appeal nor the journey was necessary, and “Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth.” The astonished father “believed the word that Jesus spake unto him, and went his way.” He rested upon the bare word of Jesus, but as he went “his way” he found the word confirmed by the testimony of his servants, who declared the child to have been healed at the very hour the word was spoken and believed. Whose faith saved the child? That son was healed entirely through the faith of the father vicariously exercised twenty-five miles away.

There is another instance where a father’s faith prevailed for an only child. In the incident at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus threw back the healing of the demoniac boy upon the faith of the father. It was not a question of Christ’s power but of the father’s faith. “Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” (Mk 9:24-27+) Then Jesus took the lad by the hand and lifted him up, healed. Whose faith saved the lad? Not his own, not the disciples’, but his father’s.

Still more striking is the faith of the Greek woman in the district of Tyre and Sidon. Jesus had withdrawn into that region that He might escape from the persistent persecution of His adversaries.* He wanted to be quiet, and requested that no one should be told of His presence: but He could not be hid. A woman whose daughter was grievously afflicted discovered Him. She threw herself at His feet, and cried, beseeching Him to cast the evil spirit out of her daughter. “But He answered her not a word.” (Mt 15:22-28) He never treated any other person as He treated this woman. She got up and followed Him, pleading as she went, till the disciples begged Him to grant her request and send her away. His silence had been bad enough, but His speech was still more discouraging, for He said, “I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” Again she fell at His feet, and looking up into His face poured out her soul in one of the shortest prayers ever uttered, “Lord help me.” Speaking directly to her for the first time, He said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” Such a remark would have silenced most people and sent them home offended, but her woman’s wit turned it into an argument, and prevailed. She answered Him, “Yea, Lord: even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.” “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it done unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was healed from that hour.” When she got home, she found her daughter lying peacefully upon the bed, and the evil spirit gone out of her. Whose faith had brought her healing? It came, not through any faith of her own, but in response to the mighty faith of her mother.

Thus we have the faith of a master prevailing for the healing of a servant, the faith of fathers exercised to the healing of sons, the faith of a mother triumphing for her daughter, and the faith of four friends blessed to the healing of a fifth; in every instance efaith working vicariously to the healing of another.

This vicarious faith is not confined to miracles of healing. It runs through all the New Testament, and is a recognised law in the Kingdom of grace. It lies at the very foundation of all intercession. Take one example: “Is any among you sick? let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15+) Whatever difficulties the passage may present with regard to Divine healing it gives a plain direction and embodies a Divine principle. It is an example of the vicarious operation of faith in prayer. A number of praying men come together to pray over a brother in need, and the prayer of faith brings both healing and forgiveness to the man for whom prayer is made. Nothing is said about the faith of the sick man. His exercise of faith is in sending for the elders. It is the faith of the men that pray that raises him up.

These are all examples of the one great truth that faith may be vicariously exercised, so as to bring blessing into the life of others who may themselves be destitute of faith.

II. THE OPERATIONS OF VICARIOUS FAITH

Vicarious faith begins by making the needs of another its own. Fellowship of woe precedes vicariousness in faith. The affliction of the child is the continual grief of the parent. “If Thou canst do anything for us,” was the plea of the distracted father. “Have mercy on me,” was the cry of the mother whose daughter was grievously vexed with a devil; and when it seemed as though her request would be denied, the identification of the intercessor with the sufferer becomes more manifest in the petition, “Lord, help me.” The mother suffered in her child before she could believe for her deliverance. Such faith is possible only to burdened hearts. The Sinless One carried away the world’s sin by taking it unto Himself. He was made sin for us. He “Himself took our infirmities and bare our diseases,” and His people enter into the fellowship of His sufferings in the work of salvation. There is but one way of salvation, as there is but one Name by which men can be saved. The followers of Christ in their measure become the vicarious bearers of the world’s sorrow and shame. In Zechariah’s vision the High Priest stood before the Lord clothed with the filthy garments of Israel. Satan rebuked him; but Joshua had taken the sins of the people upon himself, and borne them upon his own soul into the presence of Jehovah. Vicarious faith begins in vicarious sorrow and vicarious shame. The sins of others become a personal burden, and the sorrows of others a personal grief, before faith vicariously pleads and claims. When the soul travails faith prevails.

VICARIOUS FAITH IN THE WORK OF SALVATION. When Jesus saw the faith of the men who brought their palsied friend, He did not begin by commanding the sick man to take up his bed and walk, but by announcing the forgiveness of his sins. “Seeing their faith, He saith to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.” However startling it may seem, this man received the forgiveness of his sins through the faith of others. Is that heresy? Is not personal faith the one essential condition of salvation? Has it not been told us from the beginning that no man can believe another into the Kingdom of Grace? It is true no man can be saved by proxy, but it is also true we are saved vicariously. Just as this palsied man was personally assured of forgiveness through the faith of the friends who brought him to Jesus, so every saved soul is brought to the personal knowledge of salvation through the faith of others working on his behalf. The vicarious operation of faith is not exceptional in salvation, but general, if not universal. If some one had not believed for us, it is not likely we should ever have believed for ourselves. We were prayed for before we began to pray for ourselves. The Christian is begotten of God through the travail of some believing soul. There is a human as well as a Divine element in the process of soul-birth, and every man’s salvation begins in the faith of another.

Experience everywhere bears witness to the vicarious operation of faith. The processes of generation are shrouded in mystery, and there are many children of God who cannot trace their experience of regeneration to any definite occasion or influence. Such Christians are to be congratulated, for as a rule the beginnings of spiritual life with them are among the unrecognised and forgotten influences of childhood. People, however, who come to the knowledge of God in maturer years, are able to trace their spiritual lineage, and to point out the influences that brought them into the Kingdom. The Apostles speak of those who owe to them their own souls, because they were begotten of them in the Gospel. So it is still. We are brought into the experience of Saving Grace through the faith exercised for us. It is because we were believingly brought to the feet of Christ by those who believed for the salvation of our souls, we are saved.

How manifest this is in leading penitent souls to the Saviour! Take any case of a degraded sinner, such as every revival brings into the Inquiry Room. For a season the Church has sought those who live regardless of its existence, ann whenever they are earnestly sought they come. The Gospel, faithfully and believingly preached, reveals the darkness of the heart, conscience strikes terror into the soul, or tender entreaty awakens thoughts of other days. A Christian worker with a gentle hand seeks to lead the wanderer back to God, but is answered with a wail of despair: “No, I am too bad; I might have been a Christian once, but it is too late now; you do not know all about me or you would not ask me. No, I am lost, it is too late, too late; I am too bad.” What is the answer to such a cry? It is nothing less than believing for the soul that has no faith for itself. The promises are spread forth, the assurances of the Gospel repeated, and the believer stakes his own honour and God’s on the possibility of immediate and complete salvation. Persistent despair is met with insistent faith until it yields to hope, and the soul tremblingly stretches out its hands to God. Personal faith brings salvation, but it leans hard upon the strength of the faith that is vicarious. The curse of sin is its despair, and unless those who believe in God go down into the depths, and take hold of hopeless and helpless men and women with a mighty faith, they will perish in their sins.

Vicarious faith never despairs. It seeks desperate cases, and delights to bring the palsied and devil-possessed to the feet of Christ. The saddest thing in Christian workers is that they despair so soon. Whole areas are regarded as hopeless, and are abandoned for more favourable districts. Individuals are given up and left alone because it is thought to be useless to seek their salvation. Until the Church has an undaunted and unquenchable faith in the possibility of every man’s salvation, and is prepared to go down to the depths and believe men back to God, it will neither raise the dead nor cast out devils. So long as the peril of the unsaved is not felt to be a burden, and the possibility of their salvation a certainty, devils will defy the hosts of the Lord. I once asked a man who had been a notorious sinner what led him first to believe it possible for him to be a good man. “Well,” said he, “Sister believed it, and told me God could do it, so I came to believe it too.” How like the Samaritans, who believed on Christ because of the word of the woman who testified, and then believed because they had seen and heard for themselves. “And they said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy speaking: for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”

Some time ago an evangelist was engaged to conduct mission services in a godless little town in the West. The minister, in whose Church the services were to be held, wrote him a doleful account of the irreligion and wickedness of the place. He had no hope that they would be able to do much, but assured him they would stand by him to the utmost of their power. The missioner began his work by making a tour of the public houses on the Saturday night. In some he sang, in others he spoke cheerily, and invited them to the services. He was guest in the home of one of the leading business places of the town. The family seemed to consist of a woman and her daughter. One day as he sat at tea he asked his hostess if she were a widow. She replied, “No, I wish I was,” and proceeded to tell him the sad story of drunkenness, debauchery, and cruelty that had cursed their home for five and twenty years.

When she had finished, he asked, “Do you pray for him?” “No,” she said; “I have given up, it is no use.” Turning to the daughter, he asked her the same question, and she said, “No, I never pray for my father.” “Then,” he said, “if you don’t, I must. If I pray for him, will you say Amen?” Reluctantly they agreed. The three knelt there and then at the table and the missioner poured out his soul in earnest prayer for the lost soul of that house. When he had finished, there was no Amen. He prayed again, and there was no response. He prayed a third time, until their hearts melted in the conscious presence of God, and a subdued Amen was heard. They parted in silence. That night the wretched husband could not sleep. Within four days he came drunk to the service, and before the end of the mission was mightily saved. The miracle of his conversion filled the town with wonder, for he had been notorious in his sin. Whose faith saved him? His relatives had given him up. The Church had abandoned him. He had long despaired of himself. Whose faith prevailed on his behalf?

III. VICARIOUS FAITH IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL PREVAILING INTERCESSION

How often the Apostle Paul entreats the prayers of his spiritual children! In one place he is confronted with a closed door, and is forbidden to preach the Gospel to souls that are perishing, and he requests the prayers of God’s people that the door may be opened. In another case there is an open door, but there are many adversaries, and he asks them to pray that the Word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified. What is such prayer but the vicarious operation of faith? Churches at his request pray and believe in his behalf. They believe, and it comes to pass.

The power of such prayer may be gathered from the promise of Christ to His people. “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven.” Could any promise be more absolute? And yet the condition expressed in the agreement of two disciples goes deeper than at first appears. There is nothing arbitrary or mechanical in the conception. It is more than a mere contract; it is an agreement of soul. The word in the Greek means “to sound together like the answering note in musical instruments.” A note struck on the piano will call forth a response from whatever is tuned to the same pitch. In wireless telegraphy, the sound wave travels through the ether till it meets its answering note that can read its mystery, and receive its message. Such agreement assumes that the two have been brought into harmony by a common intelligence for a common purpose. We cannot pray and believe to order. Neither faith nor prayer is at the bidding of authority. We cannot believe merely because we are told we ought to believe, and that we shall be damned if we do not. Faith is possible only where the truth finds an answering note in the soul. Neither is there anything arbitrary in prayer. It is possible to pray only as the Spirit inspires in the soul correspondence to the will of God. He awakens the desire, creates the hunger, and directs the petition. When two souls are yielded to His absolute control, they find themselves in harmony with each other because both are in obedience to His will. Soul answers soul, sympathetic hearts find themselves in agreement, and together they plead at the Father’s throne. To such agreement the promise never fails. Volumes might be written of the wonders wrought in answer to the united prayers of souls unified by the Holy Ghost, and not one case can be found where such prayer has been offered in vain.

One such occasion I can never forget. At the Southport Convention of 1896 the leaders met under the shadow of a great sorrow. Its President had been ill for most of the year, and had come to the Convention in great bodily weakness. He had completely lost his voice, and had not spoken in anything more than a whisper for months. Doctors with one consent declared he could never preach again. At one of the daily meetings of the speakers for prayer, without any arrangement or request, the prayers centred in the President. With one consent prayer was made that he might be restored, and that his voice might return. Within twenty-four hours he addressed an assembly of nearly two thousand people, and has continued to preach unto this day.

The wonderful revivals that have swept over the earth from time to time have been traced to a similar fellowship of prayer. Believers simultaneously burdened with the sins of the Church and the world have been drawn together, and agreed to give themselves to earnest intercession for the revival of God’s work. The great revival in Ireland began with a few young men meeting early in the morning for prayer, because they felt the unutterable burden of perishing souls. In South Africa two young men left a Church one Sunday night full of grief because sinners were not converted. They sobbed out their burdened souls before God, and agreed to meet daily for prayer. The spirit of prayer spread among the people, and hundreds of souls were turned to God. The Church, of which I was the first pastor, was built in answer to the continual prayer of a few people, and God brought a lonely widow more than twelve thousand miles to build it. Vicarious faith! It moves Omnipotence for the blessing and salvation of people who may be at the ends of the earth.

The Centurion’s child was healed twenty-five miles away in the hour his father prayed. Whatever the explanation of the mystery of prayer, such coincidences are common in the lives of people who pray. Testimonies innumerable are borne to this twofold operation of the Spirit. At one place a soul in need pleading at the throne of grace, in another, a person ignorant of the need prompted to supply it. People moved to rise in the night or retire in the day to pray for others, have found afterwards that such persons were in special peril or in urgent need. There is not a follower of Christ who lives under the guidance of the Spirit, who has not experience of such blessings brought vicariously to others.

Faith reaches the perfection of its power in vicarious exercise. It seems in its concern for others to attain a Divine quality and to command Divine power. So long as it is centred upon personal interests it is held in leash, but when it gets away from self, and is baptized with the God-like spirit of vicariousness, it rises to the fulness of its power, and commands the resources of the Eternal.

Doubtless some will say, surely there are limitations to this faith. If by limitations is meant conditions, then there are limitations. That for which faith is exercised must be in the will of God, and must be assured to the soul by the Spirit of God. The God who spake the promise and gives the faith understands all the mystery of the human will and the operation of natural law. The operation of Divine Sovereignty and the freedom of the human will are not irreconcilable to the wisdom of God. Our responsibility is not in the explanation of mystery, but in obedience to obligation and privilege. It is God’s part to explain; it is ours to obey. The one thing common in all the examples where vicarious faith availed is the absence of resistance on the part of those who received the blessing. When men cease to resist and consent to receive, faith’s triumph is achieved. How far the Spirit can influence the will, where lies the exact limit of man’s freedom and God’s power, no man can tell, but of this we are assured, that God never fails to fulfil a promise sealed to the faith of His child.

IV. THE LESSONS OF THE INCIDENT TO CHRISTIAN WORKERS

The story of the man sick of the palsy abounds in valuable suggestions to those who are seeking to bring the hopeless and helpless to Jesus. Their work was beset with difficulties, as such work always is, and to watch their faith overcome them will do much to direct zeal and sustain faith. The first difficulty was with the man. He was palsied and unable to walk. If ever he was to be brought, he would have to be carried. One man’s sympathy, determination, and faith were unequal to the task. What was impossible to one was possible to the united effort of four. One man’s interest secured the help of three more. Faith binds men and unites their powers for a common purpose. Instead of brooding over the indifference and unbelief of the many, it seeks the fellowship and co-operation of those like-minded; instead of spending itself in criticism, it girds itself for its appointed task. It does not wait for the consent and applause of men, neither does it exhaust itself in discussion and scheming; it sees the work and does it, leaving others to discuss and criticise. Faith works, and vicarious faith works as well as believes for the blessing and salvation of others.

The real difficulties of these four men began when they got their man to the Church door. When they reached the house where Jesus was the way was blocked; and in many places it is still blocked. The difficulty is not to get the harlot, the social leper, and the outcast to come where Jesus is, but to get the people who are gathered about His Name to receive them. The house to which they came was blocked because it was full, but there are many Churches empty enough inside, that are blocked in the door-way against the disreputable. The sinner’s way to Christ is often blocked by good people—people who are interested in the Master’s word and zealous for the Master’s Name; people who pray earnestly for the salvation of men, and yet hinder their coming. In many places the greatest hindrance to Christian work is in Christian people. To be opposed from within is a severe trial to earnest faith. When you have succeeded in getting the man to come, and instead of being welcomed he is snubbed, it takes a more than ordinary supply of grace to be cheerful and civil. What is the use of praying and toiling to find the lost, while there are people in the Churches who would rather see them damned than let them share their pew? It is because the Church whines over the lost and scorns them, that the world refuses to believe its hypocrisies, and treats it with open contempt.

What is the duty of the earnest worker in the presence of such a spirit? Follow the example of these men. They stuck to their task. Any weakling can resign; the man of faith holds on. Such men stiffen their backbone and hold their tongue. Do not argue with people that do nothing but sit and criticise. Keep your mind on your task and your eye on the Master. If one way fails, go quietly round and try another. Exhaust every ordinary and legitimate method to get your man to Christ. When all the ordinary ways have been proved impossible then make a new one. Tear up the roof, make a new departure; never mind tradition and criticism; do something costly, disturbing, and startling, rather than let souls laid upon your heart go down to perdition. Love is inventive, and faith persistent. The Church is saved by the irregularities of its men of faith. The Pharisees were angry but Christ was pleased. He commended their faith and honoured it. Others would have admired their courage, applauded their inventiveness, praised their perseverance, and commended the social and economic value of their work, but the thing that was precious to Jesus was their faith. The man who brings men in faith to Christ wins the approval of God. Every problem of human life finds its solution there. Healing follows forgiveness, and individual regeneration is the only way to social salvation.

What a reward these men had! They saw the man they had brought made happy and strong. The man they had brought with his back on his bed went out with his bed on his back praising and glorifying God. He was a happy man that day, but his happiness was as nothing to the happiness of the men who had believed for him and brought him. Christ had vindicated their faith, and set His seal upon the methods others had condemned. That was great cause for rejoicing; but greater still was the joy of saving a brother. He who saves a soul drinks the very wine of God. We never know what the joy of the Lord is like till we have brought a lost soul to the feet of Jesus. Personal faith brings personal salvation, but vicarious faith brings salvation to others; and in this also it is more blessed to give than to receive. The supreme test of faith is not its personal benefit but its vicarious power.


C H Spurgeon on VICARIOUS FAITH - (from his comments on Mt 4:23-25)

Take care that you bring your relatives to Christ on the arms of your faith. Faith is that which puts strength into prayer. The reason why we do not receive the answer to our supplications is, because we do not believe we shall be heard. You remember my sermon the other sabbath morning from the text, “Whatsoever things ye shall desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”  If you can exercise faith for a dead soul, that dead soul shall be quickened and receive faith itself. If you can look to Christ with the eye of faith for a (spiritually) blind soul, that blind soul shall have sight given it and it shall see. There is a wonderful power in vicarious faith—faith for another.

Not that any one of you can be saved without faith yourself; but that when another believes for you and on your account, and quotes the promise before God for you, you may be unconscious of it, but God hears and answers that faith, and breathes on your soul, and gives you faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I do not think Christians exercise enough of this power. They are so busy with faith about their troubles, faith about their sins, faith about their personal experience, that they have not time to exercise that faith for another. Oh but surely that gift (OF FAITH) was never bestowed upon us for our own use merely, but for other people.

Try it, Christian man; try it, Christian woman; see whether God is not as good as your faith when your faith is exercised concerning the soul of your poor neighbour, of your poor drunken kinsman, or of some poor soul who thus far has defied every effort to reclaim him from the error of his ways.


John Daniel Jones - The Healing of the Paralytic - Part 1

IT is a striking thing that in this story of the healing of the paralytic the sufferer himself plays a very small part. It would, perhaps, scarcely be true to say he was entirely passive; for Christ could not have spoken to him as He did had there not been some kind of faith and wistful longing in his soul. At the same time, it is quite obvious that the main interest of the story gathers, not around the paralytic, but around his four friends and our blessed Lord. The story is so replete with points that claim our notice, that, we had better, in this chapter, confine ourselves to a study of the four friends and their action.

1. What true and genuine friends these men were!

Theirs was no fair-weather friendship. They stood by their friend in his hour of need and deep distress. That is the badge and sign of a true friendship—it bears the strain of misfortune and reverse. “I call you not servants … but … friends,” said Jesus to His disciples (John 15:15). And in another verse we find the reason why our Lord bestowed this honourable title upon them. “Ye are they,” He said, “which have continued with Me in My temptations” (Luke 22:28).

At the commencement of His career Christ had multitudes of admirers and followers. But as trials came thronging in, and as opposition deepened, these people turned their backs upon Him and deserted Him in shoals. But amid the wholesale desertion of the crowds the apostles remained staunch and true; and their loyalty to their Master in His day of trouble proved the genuineness of their friendship. For it was just on the eve of the Cross and Passion that Christ gave them that honourable name. “Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. No longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends.” And these four men had the same claim to that honourable title. They continued with their friend in the time of his trouble and distress.

Notice, too, how they fulfilled the highest office of friendship. They had heard of Christ’s power, and they determined they would carry their friend to Him. They were ready to do anything to bring back health and vigour to his wasted and stricken frame. And that is again a mark of a genuine friendship—it always seeks the good of the loved one. It is always plotting and scheming for the well-being of the friend. That was how John Robinson, the beloved pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, was described by one of his flock. “He ever sought our good, both body and soul.” That was a true friendship.

And as man’s good, both body and soul, is best secured by union with Christ, this follows, that the highest office of friendship is to do what these four men did, bring the friend to Jesus. When Andrew found Messiah, he hurried off to seek his brother Simon. “He brought him unto Jesus.” What a friend he was to his brother that day! “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, we have found Him” (John 1:45, R.V.). What a friend Philip was to Nathanael that day! Are we friends of that type?

2. What magnificent faith these friends had! It was faith that was not daunted by difficulties.

It was not an easy task to bring their friend to Jesus, but they persevered, in spite of all obstacles, and their faith won the blessing. “Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven.” (2:5, R.V.). There are difficulties still in the way of bringing friends to Christ. The crowd of engagements and cares and pleasures, and the opposition of so-called society, they are all hindrances in the way—but a true faith perseveres. Monica wept and entreated and prayed for years, but at last she saw Augustine her son at the Saviour’s feet. “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9.)

Theirs was a vicarious faith. “Jesus seeing their faith saith unto the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven.” He blessed the sick man for the faith of the four devoted friends. We often talk of vicarious sacrifice. But here is vicarious faith! That people receive large and rich blessing on account of the faith of others, is not theory, but fact. The Bible is full of it. For the sake of ten righteous men God would have spared Sodom. The Lord blessed the house of Potiphar for Joseph’s sake. God saved the whole ship-load of people because His servant Paul was on board. And so still, God blesses the world for the sake of His faithful servants who are in it. He blesses the house for the sake of a saintly mother. He blesses this man and that for the sake of a godly friend, just as He forgives and saves the world for the sake of a Holy Christ.

Here is encouragement to make our faith a real help to others. Are we doing this?


Below is an excerpt from Fuel for Pilgrims blog post which address the powerful truth of vicarious faith as described in Mark 2:1-12

There is a certain gung-ho, never-say-die, can-do attitude expressed by these men. They were going to bring their friend to Jesus, no matter what. When polite coughing and “excuse me’s” failed to get them access to the room in which Jesus was teaching, they tried elbowing their way in. When that failed they just came up with a plan B – tear a hole in the roof – real bloke-y genius! The idea of politely waiting outside, just standing in line until Jesus had finished, never even occurred to them! They were men of action, impatient and somewhat reckless and no one dared stop them – they were on a mission!

Yet, the thing that most struck me in this story, something I had never noticed before was in the following verse. The faith that brings help and healing to this poor, suffering, paralysed man is not his own but his friends’. It is their faith, on his behalf, that releases Jesus’ healing power into the man’s situation. The implications of this, for the Christian life and for Christian mission are massive. By our prayers we can stand before God on behalf of those who cannot, will not or do not know how to pray for themselves. In some mysterious way, we can by our faith, make up for the lack of faith in our friends. (EDITORIAL COMMENT: ULTIMATELY THOUGH THEY MUST EXPRESS FAITH AS EVEN THIS PARALYTIC MAIN, FOR WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD - Hebrews 11:6+).

We see several miracles in the life of Jesus that seem to fall into this category. When Jesus responds to someone’s faith by healing a third party – the Centurion and his servant (Matthew 8:5-13+), Jairus and his daughter (Mark 5:21-43+), even the resurrections of Lazarus and the Widow of Nain’s son must also fall into this category for a dead person obviously cannot have faith for himself!

It struck me that this reality about faith also has significant implications for the communal dimension of Christian discipleship. For all of us will go through times, periods, situations when our own faith fails. At these times we can be carried along and supported by the faith of our Christian brothers and sisters. When we are struggling – when we are being tempted to the limit of our strength, in danger of falling – the faith of our families and friends can uphold us, sustain us and keep us on track. We see this ministry of vicarious faith exemplified in the life of Job - 

"His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom." (Job 1:4-5NIV)

It seemed that Job worried that in the full swing of ‘rich kids, having fun’, things might get out of hand. His children’s standards of behaviour and conversation might slip and some mistakes might be made. So Job ‘stands in the gap’ for his kids, he asks God to forgive them any sins and restore them to Himself. As I thought about this subject I was powerfully struck by the strong implications it has to nullify any spiritual pride in my life. For none of us, looking back over our lives, can know for certain that our safe passage through times of struggle and temptation was the result of our own faith in God, or merely God’s gracious response to the faith of those around us, friends who prayed for us and stood in the gap before God for us. We may well discover in the life to come, that many of those times when we proudly thought we had won a great victory, we were merely, like the paralysed man in the story, being carried along by our friends.


 

VICARIOUS FAITH - from Church Pulpit Commentary - no author given

‘And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.’ ST. MARK 2:3

JUST as every human disease was a symbol of the moral condition of the soul, so every miracle Jesus wrought on the body was a token of what He would do for the soul.

I. The faith of the bearers.—It was impossible for the four men who bore the paralytic to come nigh to Jesus, Who was standing in the inner court of the house, which was covered with an awning, or else under the interior gallery surrounding this court, the roof of which was a thin tiling. No matter which; the bearers were resolved that their stricken friend should, somehow or other, face Jesus; so, having ascended the staircase or ladder outside, they uncovered the roof, whether awning or tiling, and let down the little couch whereon the sick man lay. Jesus was struck with their practical sympathy; for had they not brought him he had been a paralytic to the day of his death; but it was their faith in the Lord’s power and willingness to restore the sick man to health and strength that most impressed Him; nay, it was this which secured all they desired.

II. The condition of the man.—That he had palsy of an extreme kind is evident from the fact of his lying on a bed and being borne by others. It was a case of complete paralysis of motion. Throughout the whole narrative our Lord connects sin with suffering. If sin were destroyed the professions of surgery and medicine would be unnecessary; ‘the body would,’ as Bishop Wordsworth observes, ‘enjoy angelic health and beauty.’ Christ, by His omniscience, saw the agony of the man’s soul as certainly as He saw the faith of the men who brought him for healing. He saw, too, how he was hoping and clinging to Him.

III. The mercy of the Saviour.—‘He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.’ Certain bystanders said within themselves, ‘Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?’ They knew that God only could forgive sins; but they did not know that ‘this man’ was very God. He saw their accusation, and said to 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.’ The man, who before could not use hand or foot, arose—implying partial use of the lower muscles of the body; then he took up his bed, whatever it was, pallet or blanket—implying the vigorous use of the higher muscles; and, lastly, he departed to his house—implying the continuous use of all his muscular powers. His recovery of soul and body was complete. What a contrast is he now to what he was before! Well in body; happy in soul. Oh, the blessedness of such a salvation!—these are known only by the forgiven (Ps. 32:1; 103:1–5).

Illustration - ‘The sick man was “borne of four,” and could not have reached Jesus without this help. Palsy is not so painful as cancer, nor so loathsome as leprosy, nor so fatal as cholera; but it is a disease which renders the patient eminently helpless. There are persons affected with spiritual palsy who never fall into glaring sins, and yet remain inert and without the power of religious decision. It is vain to expect such people to “turn to Christ.” It is the mission of the Church to bring to Christ those who are too helpless in spiritual indifference to seek Him of their own accord.’


The Faith That Wins By: L. G. Curtis

Matthew 15:28
INTRODUCTION:
  In this brief story, we get a graphic picture of “The Faith That Wins.”
  From this incident, we may draw four facts concerning the faith that really wins. “The Faith That Wins” is—
I. A VISUALIZING FAITH
    1.      Her spiritual perception enabled her to know who Jesus was. He was revealed to the eyes of her faith. She was unlearned in the religion of Israel, yet she addressed Jesus, “O Lord, Thou Son of David” (v. 22).
II. A VICARIOUS FAITH
  “Vicarious means to take another’s place.”
    1.      The mother came to Jesus for her daughter. Her daughter was not able to come. She was vexed with a devil (v. 22). We are responsible for those who are morally diseased, and dead in trespasses and sin.
    2.      The mother took her daughter’s place before Jesus in prayer.
    3.      Our faith for them will not save them, but through prayer our faith will help to bring them within reach of Jesus, and help them to believe. It is only when we feel the burden and weight of the sins of others, that we are able to take their place before the Lord in prayer.
III. A VIGOROUS FAITH
    1.      In its plea. This mother’s plea was clear and to the point. She states the case as it is without reservation. She said in substance, “The Devil is her trouble.” All too often, we are not honest; we try to make excuses for those for whom we pray.
IV. A VICTORIOUS FAITH
    1.      She won over her difficulties. She could have easily become impatient and given up. We will always encounter difficulties when we go to prayer. What are some of your common difficulties?
    2.      She won over the Devil. The Devil puts up a fight when we become interested in the lives and souls of others. He will do his best to keep us off our knees.
    3.      She won deliverance for her daughter from the power of the Evil One.


Why Did They Bring the Man to Jesus? By: B. B. Caldwell

Mark 2:12
I. THEY KNEW WHERE HIS ONLY HOPE LAY v. 3
    1.      Jesus is only hope.
    2.      Jesus is the answer to all our needs.
    3.      Wasted no time on substitutes.
    4.      Never stopped until they got him to Jesus.
II. THEY WERE WILLING TO DO UNUSUAL v. 4
    1.      Tearing up roofs is expensive.
    2.      Tearing up roofs is embarrassing.
    3.      How much is your friends’ soul worth? Mark 8:36
III. THEY WERE WILLING TO WORK TOGETHER Mk 2:3
    1.      No one had to be boss.
    2.      Willing to agree on methods.
    3.      Had no grudges to alienate each other.
IV. WHO WERE THESE FOUR MEN?
    1.      Leper who had been cleansed.
    2.      Blind man who had received his sight.
    3.      Lame man who had been made to walk.
    4.      Dead man who had been raised from dead.
    5.      All four men had had an experience with Jesus and He had made them whole.
V. THEIR FAITH SAVED HIM FROM HIS SICKNESS AND SINS Mk 2:5
    1.      Vicarious faith—Matt. 15.
    2.      Vicarious repentance—Deut. 32:36.
    3.      Vicarious praying.
    4.      Vicarious mourning.
    5.      Vicarious confessing of sins. Dan. 9:8–10.
VI. THEY GLORIFIED GOD Mk 2:12
    1.      Speak well of.
    2.      Praise Lord.
    3.      Give thanks unto God.
    4.      Give glory unto God.

Mark 2:6  But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts

NET  Mark 2:6 Now some of the experts in the law were sitting there, turning these things over in their minds:

GNT  Mark 2:6 ἦσαν δέ τινες τῶν γραμματέων ἐκεῖ καθήμενοι καὶ διαλογιζόμενοι ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν,

NLT  Mark 2:6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves,

KJV  Mark 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

ESV  Mark 2:6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,

NIV  Mark 2:6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,

ASV  Mark 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

CSB  Mark 2:6 But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves:

  • reasoning: Mk 8:17 Mt 16:7,8 Lu 5:21,22 2Co 10:5 

But some of the scribes were sitting there - Note that Luke has both groups scribes and the Pharisees. Note also that Mark has SOME not ALL which would suggest not all of the scribes had this critical thought about Jesus. 

A T Robertson comments that "These scribes and Pharisees were there to cause trouble, to pick flaws in the teaching and conduct of Jesus. His popularity and power had aroused their jealousy. There is no evidence that they spoke aloud the murmur in their hearts, “within themselves” (Matt. 9:3). It was not necessary, for their looks gave them away and Jesus knew their thoughts (Matt. 9:4) and perceived their reasoning (Luke 5:22). Instantly Jesus recognized it in his own spirit (Mark 2:8 "Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit"). The Master at once recognizes the hostile atmosphere in the house. The debate (dialogizomenoi) in their hearts was written on their faces. No sound had come, but feeling did." (Word Pictures)

Scribes (1122)(grammateus from grapho = to write) was one skilled in Jewish law and theology scribe, expert, scholar (Mt 2.4). Grammateus also referred to a chief executive officer of a governmental entity such as a town official secretary, town clerk (Acts 19.35). Jesus gives a long rebuke including 8 WOES primarily to the Scribes and Pharisees which should be read to help understand how this group of Jewish religious men functioned (See Mt 23:1-39, 13, 14, 15, 16, etc). Most sources consider the lawyers (nomikos - meaning one skilled in the Mosaic law) to be scribes specialized in the jurisprudence of the Law of Moses. Finally the scribes in Lk 5:17 (nomdidaskalos) were teachers of the Jewish law who were equal to the lawyers and scribes.  In the Septuagint grammateus  frequently used for a political officer who assisted kings or magistrates by keeping written accounts of public acts and occurrences or royal revenues (2 Ki 12:10) (See Brown-Driver-Briggs definition of saphar). 

And reasoning in their hearts - ESV has "questioning." They should have been praising God in their hearts! While they did not verbalize their critical, judgmental thoughts, those thoughts were important, because the heart is the essence of who we are of what kind of person we are. As Pr 23:7KJV says "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Given the importance of the heart Pr 4:23 commands us "Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." Sadly, these men had failed to watch over their hearts and out of them flowed in effect springs of death in their legalistic, works righteousness teachings that would keep men from the Kingdom of God. Indeed, the hearts of the scribes (and Pharisees in Lk 5:21+) were hardened to spiritual truth a state which even angered Jesus, Mark 3:5 recording "After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored." See several heart issues in Mark Mk 6:52; Mk 8:17; Mk 11:23; Mk 12:30, 33; Eph. 1:18; Eph 3:17; Phil. 1:7; 1 Tim1:5)

Hearts (2588)(kardia) does not refer to the physical organ (over 800 mentions and none refer to the physical organ!) but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will. No outward obedience is of the slightest value unless the heart turns to God. Heart in effect describes our "control center" (to make a play on the "air traffic control center" at the airport which carefully guards and guides what flies in and what flies out. How applicable to our "hearts" which are so prone to wander!). Kardia refers to the the affective center of our being wherein lies the capacity of moral preference and volitional desire. The kardia generates thoughts that make the decisions which the mind works out. In other words, our logic flows out of our heart-decisions and not vice versa. Gleason Archer called the kardia, the "desire-producer that makes us tick" for it is the place where our "desire-decisions" occur, and which establish who we really are.

THOUGHT - WHO ARE YOU? HAVE YOU HAD A HEART CHECK UP RECENTLY? We are assiduous to do this medically, but woefully lax in doing it spiritually (beloved, I speak from experience!). At regeneration God reverses the spiritual atherosclerosis of our old sinful heart by giving us a total heart transplant! Daily confession and repentance are thereafter necessary to avoid "spiritual atherosclerosis" and gradual, subtle hardening (and becoming cold to the things of God) of our heart! (Practice daily "preventative maintenance" = 1 Jn 1:9+, Pr 28:13+).

Related Resources: 

  • Torrey's Topic - Scribes
  • Bridgeway Bible Dictionary Scribes
  • Charles Buck Dictionary Scribe
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary Scribes
  • Fausset Bible Dictionary  Scribes
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Scribe Scribes
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the NT Scribe Scribes
  • Smith Bible Dictionary Scribes
  • 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica Scribes
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Scribes
  • Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia  Scribes
  • McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia Scribe

Mark 2:7  "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?

NET  Mark 2:7 "Why does this man speak this way? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

GNT  Mark 2:7 Τί οὗτος οὕτως λαλεῖ; βλασφημεῖ· τίς δύναται ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ θεός;

NLT  Mark 2:7 "What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!"

KJV  Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

ESV  Mark 2:7 "Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

NIV  Mark 2:7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

ASV  Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak? he blasphemeth: who can forgive sins but one, even God?

CSB  Mark 2:7 "Why does He speak like this? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

  • speak: Mk 14:64 Mt 9:3 26:65 Joh 10:33,36 
  • who: Job 14:4 Ps 130:4 Isa 43:25 Da 9:9 Mic 7:18 Lu 5:21 7:49 Joh 20:20-23 

Why does this man speak that way?  - Instead of joy there was judgment in the hearts of these legalistic leaders. Notice their somewhat derogatory reference to Jesus as this man. and in Matthew 9:3 they used a similar derogatory term "this fellow." 

He is blaspheming  - This is what they were reasoning in their hearts. They did not speak these words out loud. Their assessment would have been correct if He were not God incarnate. The importance of this fact is that they knew that blasphemy was punishable by death (Lev. 24:10-23+; Nu 15:30–31) Their "logic" was this was that Jesus had assume a prerogative given only to God Himself! Blasphemy was a frequent charge leveled against Jesus (Mk 14:64; Jn 5:18; 10:33, 36) and would eventually become the basis of Jesus’ conviction and crucifixion.  Jesus would repeat this  “crime” of declaring "Your sins are forgiven" in Luke 7:48–49+ (as He was dining with one of the Pharisees).

This Man blasphemes! This would be a true judgment about anyone but God incarnate, for only the One who has been sinned against has the prerogative to forgive. Jesus’ words to the man were therefore an unequivocal claim of divine authority.

John MacArthur explains that "Blasphemy was the most heinous crime in Jewish thought, since it was a direct affront to the person of God. They defined three levels of blasphemy. First, one blasphemed God by speaking evil of His law, as Stephen (Acts 6:13) and Paul (Acts 21:27–28) were falsely accused of doing. A more serious form of blasphemy was to slander, speak evil of, or curse God Himself (Lev. 24:10–16; cf. Ex. 20:7). But the ultimate form of blasphemy was to assume the rights and prerogatives of God; to usurp the role of God and act as if one were God. It was this third and most severe type of blasphemy that the scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of (cf. John 5:18; 8:58–59; 10:33; 19:7)." (Luke Commentary)

He is blaspheming (present tense)(987)(blasphemeo from blapto = hinder, injure, hurt + pheme = report, rumor, fame from phemí = to speak; see study of verb form blasphemeo) means literally to speak to harm and in general therefore means to bring into ill repute, to speak verbal abuse against someone which denotes the very worst type of slander. Tdefame which means to harm the reputation of by libel or slander. In Scripture, blaspheming refers to intentional and overt defilement of the divine name, and so is any abusive speech or action directed against God, especially against the majesty, nature and power of God. The scribes are (correctly) reasoning that Jesus is taking for Himself a right that is reserved for God alone!

Who can forgive sins but God alone? - Who has the power or ability to forgive sins? Only can (has the inherent power) to send away one's sins.  Indeed remission of sins was a divine prerogative as taught repeatedly in the Old Testament (Ex. 34:6, 7a; Ps. 103:12; Isa. 1:18; 43:25; 44:22; 55:6, 7; Jer. 31:34; Mic. 7:19).So this was an excellent question and was like throwing Jesus a softball pitch. This is exactly why He said be forgiven rather than be healed.

THOUGHT - While ultimately God alone can forgive sins against Himself, remove the guilt caused by those sins and declare that the guilt is actually removed, we a  On the other hand there is a sense in which we can forgive others and in fact we are commanded to do so when we earnestly resolve not to take revenge but instead to love the one who has injured us, to promote his welfare, and never again to bring up the past (Matt. 6:12, 15; 18:21; Luke 6:37; Eph. 4:32;  

Can (1410) dunamai) means to be able or capable of doing something, in this case speaking of the continual (present tense) ability to forgive sins. 

Forgive (863) see above on aphiemi 

Sins (266) see above on hamartia

Mark 2:8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts

NET  Mark 2:8 Now immediately, when Jesus realized in his spirit that they were contemplating such thoughts, he said to them, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?

GNT  Mark 2:8 καὶ εὐθὺς ἐπιγνοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως διαλογίζονται ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λέγει αὐτοῖς, Τί ταῦτα διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν;

NLT  Mark 2:8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why do you question this in your hearts?

KJV  Mark 2:8 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?

ESV  Mark 2:8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question these things in your hearts?

NIV  Mark 2:8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things?

ASV  Mark 2:8 And straightway Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, saith unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

CSB  Mark 2:8 Right away Jesus understood in His spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?

  • when: 1Ch 29:17 Mt 9:4 Lu 5:22 6:8 7:39,40 Joh 2:24,25 6:64 21:17 Heb 4:13 Rev 2:23 
  • Why: Mk 7:21 Ps 139:2 Pr 15:26 24:9 Isa 55:7 Eze 38:10 Lu 24:38 Ac 5:3 Ac 8:22 

Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves  -  Jesus immediately perceived that there had just occurred a monumental clash between the Kingdom of darkness (the scribes being sons of darkness) and the Kingdom of light (Jesus being the Light - Jn 8:12) regarding the deity of Jesus. Jesus knew full well that He had exercised the prerogative of God in forgiving the paralytic's sins and so He now proceeds to justify His action and His indirect claim of Deity by healing the man.

Immediately (2117)(euthus) as adverb to mean immediately, right away, at once.  Euthus meaning immediately is a key word in the Gospel of Mark with 11 uses chapter 1 - Mk. 1:3; Mk. 1:10; Mk. 1:12; Mk. 1:18; Mk. 1:20; Mk. 1:21; Mk. 1:23; Mk. 1:28; Mk. 1:29; Mk. 1:30; Mk. 1:42; Mk. 1:43; Mk. 2:8; Mk. 2:12; Mk. 3:6; Mk. 4:5; Mk. 4:15; Mk. 4:16; Mk. 4:17; Mk. 4:29; Mk. 5:2; Mk. 5:29; Mk. 5:30; Mk. 5:42; Mk. 6:25; Mk. 6:27; Mk. 6:45; Mk. 6:50; Mk. 6:54; Mk. 7:25; Mk. 8:10; Mk. 9:15; Mk. 9:20; Mk. 9:24; Mk. 10:52; Mk. 11:2; Mk. 11:3; Mk. 14:43; Mk. 14:45; Mk. 14:72; Mk. 15:1

Aware (recognizing, understanding) (1921)(epiginosko from  epí = upon intensifies + ginosko = to know) means that Jesus knew fully, with certainty. He had definite information about their reasoning in their hearts.

Said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts - With this question Jesus rebukes them for their evil and false allegations. Jesus frequently taught by asking questions. Ponder this one -- the scribes (and Pharisees) knew that they had not verbalized their thoughts (reasoning) and yet this Man knew their thoughts perfectly! This was like a "preview" of coming attractions. The fact that Jesus had "read their reasoning" should have been a major clue that He was not a mere Man! Sadly, when hearts are hard, truth cannot penetrate. How often have I shared the Truth of Jesus with folks and they in essence say "Don't confuse me with the facts! What about all the folks who call themselves Jesus followers on Sunday and live like the devil the other 6 days of the week?" 

Reasoning (Thought, speculation, disputing, doubts) (1260)(dialogizomai cf dialogismos from dia = intensifies meaning +  logizomai - to reason, reckon, consider. English "dialogue"  conversation between two or more) means to consider, reason or reckon thoroughly, to think through, to deliberate by reflection. "To bring together different reasons."

Hearts (2588) see preceding note on kardia

Mark 2:9  "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk'

NET  Mark 2:9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Stand up, take your stretcher, and walk'?

GNT  Mark 2:9 τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν τῷ παραλυτικῷ, Ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, ἢ εἰπεῖν, Ἔγειρε καὶ ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει;

NLT  Mark 2:9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk'?

KJV  Mark 2:9 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?

ESV  Mark 2:9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk'?

NIV  Mark 2:9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?

ASV  Mark 2:9 Which is easier, to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

CSB  Mark 2:9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'?

  • Which is easier Mt 9:5 Lu 5:22-25 
  • Your sins are forgiven: Mk 2:5 

Which is easier - It is obviously easier to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' since the validity of that statement cannot be tested -- No human can prove that such a thing actually occurred since it is invisible. Commanding a paralytic to walk would be far more difficult, because the actions of the paralytic would immediately verify the effect of the command.

Forgive (863) see above on aphiemi 

Sins (266) see above on hamartia

To say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven' or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk - The answer is so self-evident that from this text it appears Jesus did not even give them a chance to voice an answer! He immediately moved on to answer His question not with words but with works!

Paralytic (3885) see note above on paralutikos 

Mark 2:10  "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic

NET  Mark 2:10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,"– he said to the paralytic–

GNT  Mark 2:10 ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς- λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ,

NLT  Mark 2:10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said,

KJV  Mark 2:10 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,)

ESV  Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- he said to the paralytic--

NIV  Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralytic,

ASV  Mark 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the sick of the palsy),

CSB  Mark 2:10 But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," He told the paralytic,

  • Da 7:13,14 Mt 9:6-8 16:13  Joh 5:20-27 Ac 5:31 1Ti 1:13-16 

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - 

Son of man - This term was used frequent by Ezekiel to describe the prophet himself, but Daniel used Son of Man to refer to a prophecy of the Messiah (see below). In the NT Son of Man is used in 84 verses the majority referring to Jesus. Son of Man was Jesus' favorite description of Himself. By using the phrase "of Man" Jesus demonstrates His compassionate willingness to identify with fallen mankind.  

Son of Man - Matt. 8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8,32,40; 13:37,41; 16:13,27-28; 17:9,12,22; 18:11; 19:28; 20:18,28; 24:27,30,37,39,44; 25:31; 26:2,24,45,64; Mk. 2:10,28; 8:31,38; 9:9,12,31; 10:33,45; 13:26; 14:21,41,62; Lk. 5:24; 6:5,22; 7:34; 9:22,26,44,56,58; 11:30; 12:8,10,40; 17:22,24,26,30; 18:8,31; 19:10; 21:27,36; 22:22,48,69; 24:7; Jn. 1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6:27,53,62; 8:28; 9:35; 12:23,34; 13:31; Acts 7:56; Heb. 2:6; Rev. 1:13; 14:14

Daniel prophesied of the Messiah's coming...

“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. (Da 7:13-note)

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary on Son of Man - Of all the titles commonly used of Jesus in the New Testament, ‘Son of man’ was the one most used by Jesus himself and least used by others. It hardly occurs at all outside the Gospels (Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14), and inside the Gospels is used almost solely by Jesus. By using this unusual title for himself, Jesus made people think carefully about who he was and what his mission involved (John 12:34; John 13:31-32). (Click for complete description) (Here is another good description of Son of Man).

NET Note - The term Son of Man, which is a title in Greek, comes from a pictorial description in Da 7:13-note of one "like a son of man" (i.e., a human being). It is Jesus' favorite way to refer to himself. Jesus did not reveal the background of the term here, which mixes human and divine imagery as the man in Daniel rides a cloud, something only God does. He just used it. It also could be an idiom in Aramaic meaning either "some person" or "me." So there is a little ambiguity in its use here, since its origin is not clear at this point. However, the action makes it clear that Jesus used it to refer to himself here.

Wiersbe on Son of Man - In Luke 5:24, we have the first recorded use of the title Son of man in Luke’s Gospel, where it is found twenty-three times. Our Lord’s listeners were familiar with this title. It was used of the Prophet Ezekiel over eighty times, and Daniel applied it to the Messiah (Dan. 7:13, 18). “Son of man” was our Lord’s favorite name for Himself; this title is found at least eighty-two times in the Gospel record. Occasionally He used the title “Son of God” (Matt. 27:43; Luke 22:70; John 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4), but “Son of man” was used more. Certainly the Jewish people caught the messianic character of this title, but it also identified Him with the people He came to save (Luke 19:10). Like Ezekiel, the Old Testament “son of man,” Jesus “sat where they sat” (Ezek. 3:15). (Ibid)

Authority (1849) is exousia which in simple terms means Jesus has both the right to do this and the might to accomplish it (send sins away)! Luke uses exousia to refer to Jesus' message (Lk 4:32, not like the scribes - Mt 7:29), to His authority over the world of the demons (Lk 4:36), to Jesus' delegation of His authority to the 12 disciples (Lk 9:1, cf Lk 10:19), to Jesus' authority to cast into hell (Lk 12:5, cf Mt 25:41), to Jesus' promise to believers to have authority over cities (Lk 19:17) (probably during the Millennium - MacArthur agrees noting this refers to "believers’ responsibility and rule under Christ in His future kingdom - cf. 2 Ti 2:12; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:4, 6-note).  

Forgive (863) see above on aphiemi 

Sins (266) see above on hamartia

He said to the paralytic - If the scribes and Pharisees had really understood and believed their own OT Scriptures, this miracle was a giant finter pointing to Jesus as their long expected Messiah. For example 

Isaiah 35:5; 6  Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. 

Isaiah 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 

Paralytic (3885) see note above on paralutikos 

Mark 2:11  "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home."

NET  Mark 2:11 "I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher, and go home."

GNT  Mark 2:11 Σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου.

NLT  Mark 2:11 "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!"

KJV  Mark 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

ESV  Mark 2:11 "I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home."

NIV  Mark 2:11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."

ASV  Mark 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thy house.

CSB  Mark 2:11 "I tell you: get up, pick up your mat, and go home."

  • Mk 1:41  Joh 5:8-10 6:63 

I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home - Pick up and go are both commands in the present imperative. How could he obey? Only by the power of the Spirit Who enabled him. See discussion of the Need for the Holy Spirit to obey NT commands (or "How to Keep All 1642 Commandments in the New Testament!")

Spurgeon WHEREVER OUR LORD WORKS THE DOUBLE MIRACLE, IT WILL BE APPARENT. The man's healing was proved by his obedience. Openly to all onlookers an active obedience became indisputable proof of the poor creature's restoration. Notice, our Lord bade him rise — he rose; he had no power to do so except that power which comes with Divine commands. He did his Lord's bidding, and he did it accurately, in detail, at once, and most cheerfully. Oh! how cheerfully; none can tell but those in like case restored. So, the true sign of pardoned sin, and of paralysis removed from the heart, is obedience.(Carried by Four)

Mark 2:12  And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

NET  Mark 2:12 And immediately the man stood up, took his stretcher, and went out in front of them all. They were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

GNT  Mark 2:12 καὶ ἠγέρθη καὶ εὐθὺς ἄρας τὸν κράβαττον ἐξῆλθεν ἔμπροσθεν πάντων, ὥστε ἐξίστασθαι πάντας καὶ δοξάζειν τὸν θεὸν λέγοντας ὅτι Οὕτως οὐδέποτε εἴδομεν.

NLT  Mark 2:12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers.They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, "We've never seen anything like this before!"

KJV  Mark 2:12 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.

ESV  Mark 2:12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

NIV  Mark 2:12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

ASV  Mark 2:12 And he arose, and straightway 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.

CSB  Mark 2:12 Immediately he got up, picked up the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

  • so that they were all amazed: Mk 1:27 Mt 9:8 12:23 Lu 7:16 
  • were glorifying God: Mt 15:31 Lu 5:26 13:13 17:15 Ac 4:21 
  • We have never seen anything like this: Mt 9:33  Joh 7:31 9:32 

And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet - He immediately put his faith into action and obeyed the Lord's command. Mark it down that just as a wagon must be hitched to a horse to move, so too faith must be hitched to obedience to demonstrate that it is true, saving faith. Mark it well - faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone! 

And went out in the sight of everyone -  In the sight of everyone would include the skeptical, critical leaders! Did this miracle result in belief in Jesus? None of the 3 synoptic accounts make any mention of belief, except BEFORE the miracle the four men who carried the man (Jesus seeing their faith - Mk 2:5) and the paralyzed man (whose faith was evidenced by his obedience)! For these hard hearted skeptical scribes (and pharisees) the old saying was not to prove true that "Seeing is believing." The saw and yet did not believe! 

So that they were all amazed and were glorifying God - All is interesting -- does this include the religious leaders? Amazed is in the present tense indicating they continued in this state.  Glorifying (doxazo) is also in the present tense indicating he was continually praising God - a good pattern for all of us to emulate! Giving glory to God was often the (appropriate) reaction when someone was healed (cf. Lk 13:13; Lk 17:15; Lk 18:43). Bock adds that "Luke often notes that with the saving action of God, there comes gratitude and joy (Luke 2:20; 4:15; 5:26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47 [at the cross!]; Acts 4:21; 11:15–18; 21:20). God’s saving work brings a song to one’s heart." (Ibid)

Amazed (astonished, astounded, besides one's self) (1839)(existemi from ek = out + hístemi = to stand) literally means to stand out from or to stand outside oneself (to be beside oneself). All NT uses of existemi are  related in some way to the human mind. Richards "suggests astonishment mixed with anxiety, stimulated by extraordinary events that cannot be explained." Mark's uses -  Mk. 2:12; Mk. 3:21; Mk. 5:42; Mk. 6:51

"To “glorify” God means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means "dignity, honor, praise and worship." Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshipped. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence. " (See full article What does it mean to glorify God?)

NET Note - Joy at God’s work is also a key theme in Luke: Luke 2:20; 4:15; 5:26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47.

Spurgeon on glorifying God - ALL THIS TENDS TO GLORIFY GOD. Those four men had been the indirect means of bringing much honour to God and much glory to Jesus, and they, I doubt not, glorified God in their very hearts on the housetop. Happy men to have been of so much service to their bedridden friend I When a man is saved his whole manhood glorifies God; he becomes instinct with a new-born life which glows in every part of him, spirit, soul, and body. But who next glorified God? The text does not say so, but we feel sure that his family did, for he went to his own house. Well, but it did not end there. A wife and family utter but a part of the glad chorus of praise, though a very melodious part. There are other adoring hearts who unite in glorifying the healing Lord. The disciples, who were around the Saviour, they glorified God too. And there was glory brought to God, even by the common people who stood around. We must, one and all, do the same.(Carried by Four)

Saying, "We have never seen anything like this" - Luke 5:26+ adds that "they were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen remarkable things today."

Mark 2:13  And He went out again by the seashore; and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.

NET  Mark 2:13 Jesus went out again by the sea. The whole crowd came to him, and he taught them.

GNT  Mark 2:13 Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πάλιν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν· καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς.

NLT  Mark 2:13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.

KJV  Mark 2:13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

ESV  Mark 2:13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.

NIV  Mark 2:13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.

ASV  Mark 2:13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

CSB  Mark 2:13 Then Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to Him, and He taught them.

  • by the seashore: Mt 9:9 13:1 
  • and all the people were coming to Him: Mk 2:2 3:7,8,20,21 4:1 Pr 1:20-22 Lu 19:48 21:38 

Parallel Passages
Mk 2:13–17—Mt. 9:9–13; Lk 5:27–32

And He went out again by the seashore - 

and all the people were coming to Him - 

and He was teaching them - 

Mark 2:14  As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said^ to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him.

NET  Mark 2:14 As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth. "Follow me," he said to him. And he got up and followed him.

GNT  Mark 2:14 καὶ παράγων εἶδεν Λευὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ.

NLT  Mark 2:14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

KJV  Mark 2:14 And 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.

ESV  Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.

NIV  Mark 2:14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

ASV  Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

CSB  Mark 2:14 Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" So he got up and followed Him.

  • He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus: Mk 3:18 Mt 9:9 Lu 5:27 
  • Alphaeus: Mk 3:18 Lu 6:15 Ac 1:13 
  • Follow me: Mk 1:17-20 Mt 4:19-22 

As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth - 

and He said to him, "Follow Me!"

And he got up and followed Him. - 

Mark 2:15  And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.

NET  Mark 2:15 As Jesus was having a meal in Levi's home, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

GNT  Mark 2:15 Καὶ γίνεται κατακεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ πολλοὶ τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ συνανέκειντο τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοὶ καὶ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ.

NLT  Mark 2:15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.)

KJV  Mark 2:15 And 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.

ESV  Mark 2:15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

NIV  Mark 2:15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

ASV  Mark 2:15 And it came to pass, that he was sitting at meat in his house, and many publicans and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

CSB  Mark 2:15 While He was reclining at the table in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also guests with Jesus and His disciples, because there were many who were following Him.

  • Mt 9:10,11 21:31,32 Lu 5:29,30 6:17 15:1 

And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house - 

and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples - 

for there were many of them - 

and they were following Him - 

Mark 2:16  When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?"

NET  Mark 2:16 When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

GNT  Mark 2:16 καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων ἰδόντες ὅτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ, Ὅτι μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει;

NLT  Mark 2:16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum? "

KJV  Mark 2:16 And 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?

ESV  Mark 2:16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

NIV  Mark 2:16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

ASV  Mark 2:16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and publicans, said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

CSB  Mark 2:16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, "Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

  • Why is He eating: Mk 2:7 Isa 65:5 Lu 15:2-7 18:11 19:7,10 1Co 2:15 Heb 12:3 
  • tax collectors and sinners: Mt 18:17 

When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors - 

they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? - 

Mark 2:17  And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

NET  Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this he said to them, "Those who are healthy don't need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

GNT  Mark 2:17 καὶ ἀκούσας ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς [ὅτι] Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλ᾽ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες· οὐκ ἦλθον καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλούς.

NLT  Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor-- sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

KJV  Mark 2:17 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.

ESV  Mark 2:17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

NIV  Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

ASV  Mark 2:17 And when Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

CSB  Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, He told them, "Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners."

  • it is not those who are healthy: Mt 9:12,13 Lu 5:31,32 15:7,29 16:15 Joh 9:34,40 
  • I did not come to call: Isa 1:18 55:7 Mt 18:11 Lu 15:10 19:10 Ac 20:21 26:20 Ro 5:6-8,20,21 1Co 6:9-11 1Ti 1:15,16 Tit 2:14 3:3-7 

And hearing this, Jesus said to them, "it is not those who are healthy who need a physician - 

but those who are sick - 

 I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners - 

Mark 2:18  John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"

NET  Mark 2:18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and said, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?" (Mar 2:18 NET)

GNT  Mark 2:18 Καὶ ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύοντες. καὶ ἔρχονται καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ, Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ τῶν Φαρισαίων νηστεύουσιν, οἱ δὲ σοὶ μαθηταὶ οὐ νηστεύουσιν;

NLT  Mark 2:18 Once when John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, "Why don't your disciples fast like John's disciples and the Pharisees do?"

KJV  Mark 2:18 And 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?

ESV  Mark 2:18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"

NIV  Mark 2:18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?"

ASV  Mark 2:18 And John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting: and they come and say unto him, Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

CSB  Mark 2:18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked Him, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees' disciples fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"

  • John's disciples: Mt 9:14-17 Lu 5:33-39 
  • Why do John's disciples: Mt 6:16,18 23:5 Lu 18:12 Ro 10:3 

Parallel Passages Mk 2:18–22—Mt. 9:14–17; Lk 5:33–39

John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting - 

and they came and said to Him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast - 

Mark 2:19  And Jesus said to them, "While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

NET  Mark 2:19 Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast.

GNT  Mark 2:19 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ᾽ αὐτῶν ἐστιν νηστεύειν; ὅσον χρόνον ἔχουσιν τὸν νυμφίον μετ᾽ αὐτῶν οὐ δύνανται νηστεύειν.

NLT  Mark 2:19 Jesus replied, "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can't fast while the groom is with them.

KJV  Mark 2:19 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.

ESV  Mark 2:19 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

NIV  Mark 2:19 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them.

ASV  Mark 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the sons of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

CSB  Mark 2:19 Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast.

  • Can: Ge 29:22 Jdg 14:10,11 Ps 45:14 Song 6:8 Mt 25:1-10 

And Jesus said to them, "While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they - 

So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. - 

Mark 2:20  "But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

NET  Mark 2:20 But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast.

GNT  Mark 2:20 ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος, καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ.

NLT  Mark 2:20 But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

KJV  Mark 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

ESV  Mark 2:20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

NIV  Mark 2:20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

ASV  Mark 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day.

CSB  Mark 2:20 But the time will come when the groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

  • the bridegroom: Ps 45:11 Song 3:11 Isa 54:5 62:5 Joh 3:29 2Co 11:2 Rev 19:7 21:9 
  • be taken: Zec 13:7 Mt 26:31  Joh 7:33,34 12:8 13:33 16:7,28 17:11,13 Ac 1:9 3:21 
  • and then they will fast: Ac 13:2,3 14:23 1Co 7:5 2Co 6:5 11:27 

But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them - 

and then they will fast in that day - 

Mark 2:21  "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.

NET  Mark 2:21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse.

GNT  Mark 2:21 οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν· εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται.

NLT  Mark 2:21 "Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

KJV  Mark 2:21 No 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.

ESV  Mark 2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.

NIV  Mark 2:21 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.

ASV  Mark 2:21 No man seweth a piece of undressed cloth on an old garment: else that which should fill it up taketh from it, the new from the old, and a worse rent is made.

CSB  Mark 2:21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made.

  • sews: Ps 103:13-15 Isa 57:16 1Co 10:13 
  • new Mt 9:16 

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment - 

otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. - 

Mark 2:22  "No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."

NET  Mark 2:22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be destroyed. Instead new wine is poured into new wineskins."

GNT  Mark 2:22 καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκοὺς καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοί· ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς.

NLT  Mark 2:22 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins."

KJV  Mark 2:22 And 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.

ESV  Mark 2:22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins-- and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins."

NIV  Mark 2:22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."

ASV  Mark 2:22 And no man putteth new wine into old wineskins; else the wine will burst the skins, and the wine perisheth, and the skins: but they put new wine into fresh wine-skins.

CSB  Mark 2:22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins."

  • will burst the skins: Jos 9:4,13 Job 32:19 Ps 119:80,83 Mt 9:17 Lu 5:37,38 

No one puts new wine into old wineskins - otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well - 

but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins - 

Mark 2:23  And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.

NET  Mark 2:23 Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat as they made their way.

GNT  Mark 2:23 Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων, καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας.

NLT  Mark 2:23 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat.

KJV  Mark 2:23 And 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.

ESV  Mark 2:23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

NIV  Mark 2:23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.

ASV  Mark 2:23 And it came to pass, that he was going on the sabbath day through the grainfields; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears.

CSB  Mark 2:23 On the Sabbath He was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to make their way picking some heads of grain.

  • And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields: Mt 12:1-8 Lu 6:1-5 
  • picking the heads of grain: Dt 23:24,25 

Parallel Passages Mk 2:23–25—Mt. 12:1–8; Lk 6:1–5

And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath - 

and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain - 

Mark 2:24  The Pharisees were saying to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

NET  Mark 2:24 So the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?"

GNT  Mark 2:24 καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον αὐτῷ, Ἴδε τί ποιοῦσιν τοῖς σάββασιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν;

NLT  Mark 2:24 But the Pharisees said to Jesus, "Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?"

KJV  Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

ESV  Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

NIV  Mark 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

ASV  Mark 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

CSB  Mark 2:24 The Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

  • why are they doing: Mk 2:7,16 Mt 7:3-5 15:2,3 23:23,24 Heb 12:3 
  • what is not lawful on the Sabbath: Ex 20:10 31:15 35:2,3 Nu 15:32-36 Ne 13:15-22 Isa 56:2,4,6 Isa 58:13 Jer 17:20-27 

The Pharisees were saying to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath - 

Mark 2:25  And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry;

NET  Mark 2:25 He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry–

GNT  Mark 2:25 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Οὐδέποτε ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ ὅτε χρείαν ἔσχεν καὶ ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ,

NLT  Mark 2:25 Jesus said to them, "Haven't you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

KJV  Mark 2:25 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?

ESV  Mark 2:25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him:

NIV  Mark 2:25 He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?

ASV  Mark 2:25 And he said unto them, Did ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry, he, and they that were with him?

CSB  Mark 2:25 He said to them, "Have you never read what David and those who were with him did when he was in need and hungry--

  • Have you never read: Mk 12:20,26 Mt 19:4 21:16,42 22:31 Lu 10:26 
  • what David did when he was in need: 1Sa 21:3-6 

And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry - 

Mark 2:26  how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?"

NET  Mark 2:26 how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the sacred bread, which is against the law for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to his companions?"

GNT  Mark 2:26 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγεν, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἱερεῖς, καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν;

NLT  Mark 2:26 He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions."

KJV  Mark 2:26 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?

ESV  Mark 2:26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?"

NIV  Mark 2:26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."

ASV  Mark 2:26 How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the showbread, which it is not lawful to eat save for the priests, and gave also to them that were with him?

CSB  Mark 2:26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest and ate the sacred bread-- which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests-- and also gave some to his companions?"

  • Abiathar 1Sa 22:20-22 23:6,9 2Sa 8:17 15:24,29,35 20:25 1Ki 1:7 1Ki 2:22,26,27 4:4 
  • which is not lawful: Ex 29:32,33 Lev 24:5-9 

how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread - 

which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests - 

and he also gave it to those who were with him - 

Mark 2:27  Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

NET  Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.

GNT  Mark 2:27 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Τὸ σάββατον διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐγένετο καὶ οὐχ ὁ ἄνθρωπος διὰ τὸ σάββατον·

NLT  Mark 2:27 Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.

KJV  Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

ESV  Mark 2:27 And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

NIV  Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

ASV  Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

CSB  Mark 2:27 Then He told them, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.

  • Ex 23:12 De 5:14 Ne 9:13,14 Isa 58:13 Eze 20:12,20 Lu 6:9 Joh 7:23 1Co 3:21,22 2Co 4:15 Col 2:16 

 Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath - 

Mark 2:28  "So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

NET  Mark 2:28 For this reason the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

GNT  Mark 2:28 ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου.

NLT  Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!"

KJV  Mark 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

ESV  Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

NIV  Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

ASV  Mark 2:28 so that the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.

CSB  Mark 2:28 Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

  • Mk 3:4 Mt 12:8 Lu 6:5 13:15,16 Joh 5:9-11,17 9:5-11,14,16 Eph 1:22 Rev 1:10

So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath - 

 

 

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