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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Mark 2



Other Authors
Verses 1-12

Jesus Heals a Paralytic ( Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26) - Mark 2:1-12 gives us the account of Jesus healing a paralytic. When comparing this narrative material in the Synoptic Gospels, their individual themes are clearly reflected. Mark makes the unique statement that He was preaching the Word unto them ( Mark 2:2), reflecting the office of the evangelist. Luke makes the unique statement that He was teaching the people and the power of the Lord was present to heal them ( Luke 5:17), reflecting the office and anointing of the prophet. Thus, we can see a clear emphasis in Mark's version of an evangelist preaching of the Gospel with signs following, which is the foundation theme of this Gospel. Luke's parallel passage emphasizes Jesus' power and anointing in the office of the prophet; and within the context of Luke's literary structure, Jesus is demonstrating to His disciples His authority over sin. Matthew makes no such comments, but rather places emphasis in this section of narrative material on His healing all manner of sickness and disease in order to demonstrate the healing ministry to which He was about to commission His disciples.

This Miracle was a Demonstration that Jesus' Claim to Divinity was Accepted by God- In this passage of Scripture, Jesus performs a miracle to demonstrate His authority to forgive sin. The foundational theme of Mark's Gospel is the testimony of Jesus' works to prove His divinity (and Jews knew that only divinity could forgive their sins). In the Old Testament the evidence that God received a person's sacrifice and granted forgiveness of sins was demonstrated when the sacrifice was received. For example, we can find examples of God coming down and consuming sacrifices as He did for Moses at the dedication of the Tabernacle ( Leviticus 9:24), for Manoah, the father of Samson ( Judges 13:19-20), for King David at the threshing floor of Ornan ( 1 Chronicles 21:26), for Solomon at the dedication of the Temple ( 2 Chronicles 7:1) and for Elijah on Mount Carmel ( 1 Kings 18:38) as a way of receiving their sacrifices. In a similar way, the evidence that Jesus has the divine power to forgive man's sins was by the fact that He healed him, since the Jews understood that sickness and sin went hand in hand. Thus, the Jews saw that Jesus' claim to divinity was accepted by God. In addition, the fact that sickness and sin went hand in hand testifies to the fact that divine healing of men's physical bodies was embedded in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

This Miracle Demonstrated the Sinful Nature of Every Person- In this story, Jesus heals a man by first forgiving him of his sins. One reason Jesus discussed His authority to forgive sins and demonstrate this authority in front of the Pharisees was so the Jews would have no excuse in knowing Jesus and the Father (See John 15:22-24).

John 15:22-24, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father."

Mark 2:4Comments - We can imagine how disturbing the activity of taking off part of a roof and letting a man down would have been in a crowded room where Jesus sat teaching. People would have to move around to allow the mat to set on the floor. In addition, the attention of people would now be firmly fixed upon Jesus' response to this crippled man laying in front of Him.

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

Mark 2:5Comments - Jesus responds to this situation by both healing the paralytic, and also by demonstrating His divine nature as the Son of God to the crowd. Everyone expected Jesus to heal the man; however, there was a need to reveal His divinity to the people so that they believed in Him as the Son of God, who came to redeem their sins. Therefore, Jesus forgives the man's sins.

Mark 2:8 — "And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit" - Scripture Reference- Note:

Mark 5:30, "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?"

Mark 2:11Comments - The man's bed would serve as physical evidence of his testimony to his friends and family.

Verse 13

Jesus Faces Opposition - As Jesus' public ministry expanded from Capernaum to other cities throughout Galilee, the Jewish leaders began to publically question His actions. Jesus took these opportunities to teach on the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Calls Levi — Mark 2:14-17

2. Jesus Teachings On Fasting — Mark 2:18-22

3. Jesus Teaches About the Sabbath — Mark 2:23-28

4) Jesus Heals Man with Withered Hand — Mark 3:1-6

Verses 13-17

Jesus Calls Levi ( Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32) - Mark 2:13-17 gives us the account of Jesus calling Levi or Matthew , one of the twelve apostles, to forsake all and follow Him. Mark places emphasis upon the calling of the disciples as well as Jesus' ministry of preaching the Gospel with signs following.

Verses 18-22

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting ( Matthew 9:14-17, Luke 5:33-39) - Mark 2:18-22 gives us the account of Jesus being questioned by the disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees regarding fasting.

Mark 2:21Comments- Some English versions translate the phrase "a piece of new cloth" as "a piece of unshrunk cloth." The Greek word "new" ( άγναφος) (G 46) is used two times in the New Testament ( Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21) and is translated as "new" in the KJV. Strong translates it to mean, "unfulled, i.e. new (cloth)." BDAG translates it to mean, "unbleached, unshrunken, unsized, or new." Strong says the word άγναφος comes from the negative particle α and γναφεύς (G 1102), meaning, "a cloth-dresser," which is a variation of the word κνάρτω, which means, "to tease cloth." Thus, a piece of new cloth was one in which it was not processed and thus not properly shrunken for use as a piece of garment.

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.

Mark 2:22Comments- The bottles that Jesus mentioned to illustrate the story of wine and bottles were made of animal skins. The older they were, the more stiff them became, and less stretchable. If new wine was poured into old wineskins, the fermentation process, which is not complete, would produce gases and burst the old, stiff wineskins. Today, manufacturer in the wine industry add sulfites to the wine in order to kill the yeast and stop the fermentation process. In ancient times, wine must have continued fermenting until it was consumed.

Verses 23-28

Jesus Is Questioned About the Sabbath Day ( Matthew 12:1-8, Luke 6:1-5) - In Mark 2:23-28 Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about the Sabbath day.

Mark 2:23Comments- Note that the Mosaic Law allowed them to pluck the grain in some else"s field and eat it.

Deuteronomy 23:25, "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour"s standing corn."


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Mark 2:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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