Part 1: Jesus heals the paralytic
Back in Capernaum, Jesus preaches to a large crowd that fills Peter’s house and overflows. Pharisees and educators were there from “every town of Galilee,” and from as far away as Jerusalem, thus revealing how well known Jesus was becoming. Healing power was, in a special way, ready to operate.
A paralytic is lowered through the hole in the roof, and Jesus forgives his sins and heals his body. The Scribes and Pharisees mentally charge Jesus with blasphemy in claiming power to forgive sins; but Jesus, knowing their thoughts, claims that the power to heal the body is evidence of power to forgive sins.
Jewish opposition has begun against Jesus, as a group of leaders has found out Jesus’ Works and Preachings. A paralyzed man had friends who had asked Jesus to heal him. They stopped at nothing bringing this man to Jesus—as they lowered him through a hole in the roof of where Jesus was. Soon, Jesus heals this man, and then He even forgave his sins.
The Jewish leaders noticed Jesus claiming to be God—for they knew only God could forgive sins. Therefore, the leaders determined either Jesus was really God, or that He was just a blasphemer. Of course, they thought just anyone could say someone is forgiven or healed. The healing can be proven visibly, though, however, forgiveness cannot—they thought. Those that saw the man was healed knew that Jesus is just as He says He is.
What can we learn from this?
Seeing these men carry the paralyzed man, we can see they indeed had faith. Through this, and other situations reviewed already previously, true faith and strong faith work in various ways—however, Jesus is willing to accept any of it and help. Christ proved the power to forgive sin by showing that He could cure the paralyzed man—for they had no techniques that could cure paralytics medically. We see that there are physical afflictions; however, sin is an affliction of the soul, to which, Christ can only resolve. The ones who need help will show their faith unto Jesus Christ by humility unto Him.
Part 2: Call of Matthew and a special dinner
This journey begins in Mark 2:13-17; Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32. The next one to join Jesus’ group of Disciples was a tax collector named Matthew, who many people knew as Levi. Matthew took Jesus to his home for a meal and invited fellow tax collectors, as well as other friends to join Jesus and him.
Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) from his customs office to be a Disciple. Levi gives a great dinner in His honor at which many “publicans,” and “sinners” were guests.
This, of course, riled up the Jews, because they disliked or even hated the tax collectors and wished that all Jews would stay away from them. Therefore, when Jesus was having dinner with several tax collectors, this caused a ruckus in the Jewish leadership.
The Pharisees saw Jesus eating with them as well, and soon despised Jesus. However, He replied to them that if the tax collectors were really as bad as they claimed, then tax collectors were the ones that truly needed His help. God was pleased in Jesus’ showing of mercy to outcasts; however, He was not pleased with sacrifices of those that feel they are better than others are.
What can we learn from this?
People of many age groups become outcasts, and many times, it is by accident. Sometimes, it is on purpose. However, we must realize that if someone is being an outcast accidentally or on purpose, there has to be a reason internally that someone acts the way they do.
Pharisees and Jews despised these tax collectors, which only made the problem worse for the tax collectors. They did not care about the tax collectors, and commonly spoke against them—which only made the problem worse for them as outcasts.
Jesus came, however, in His mercy, to pardon the greatest sins, and give grace to change the greatest sinners to make them holy.
To make these tax collectors more faithful and fair dealing, a change of heart was needed about them. Because the Jews hated them, the tax collectors obtained an ill name, to which, Jesus wanted to change, because He knew that inside they could truly change. This is why He called Matthew to be a Disciple, is because He knew that Matthew could change so much that it would truly glorify the Lord and improve his work overall.
We see multiple times that the Lord did not ever waver in connecting with and conversing with sinners and outcasts, because He knew He could help them. He was unconcerned with what society said about them, because He knew that there is no discrimination for the Kingdom of God, and as He is building the Kingdom of God, He knows that there is no difference in race or type of people.
Part 3: Three parables that vindicate (clear blame of) fasting
John the Baptist’s disciples and the Pharisees agreed that Jesus’ Disciples did not fast or keep up with their normal ceremonies. They questioned Jesus, to which, He compares His Coming to the coming of a bridegroom to his wedding feast. In a time of such joy, no one really thinks of fasting, which is why Jesus’ Disciples did not fast while He was with them, but that Jesus eventually would be taken away from them and killed—to which they would fast again due to great sorrow.
Their eventual sorrow would be turned into joy again when they see Him rise again from the dead, victorious!
Jesus also reminded them that now that He had come, they should not expect the old tradition of the Jews to continue, because He had not come to repair, improve, or even update Judaism. However, Judaism was worn out and completely useless.
Jesus brought something new, to which, made Judaism as an old worn out coat (cloth) that could not be sown or as a brittle old wineskin that could not stand pressure of new wine. However, the Pharisees insisted upon their old worn out religion.
What can we learn from this?
Slanders will come against us, especially when we try to make a difference in people’s lives. It is up to us to bear them, so that, we keep things in order especially to the Will of God. We also should not cling to old traditions so much as to not accomplish what God wants for us. We must be willing to change, as God needs us to.