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ver. 2.0.19.08.21
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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Mark 2

 

 

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Verses 1-12

Mark 2:1-2. And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, inasmuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

He could not be hid; the healed leper had made his name so famous that men crowded to see him, and he took advantage of their curiosity, and “preached the word unto them.”

Mark 2:3-5. And they came unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 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. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Those who brought this man to Jesus believed that he could and would heal him, and Christ delighted to honour their faith, and perhaps also the faith of the man himself.

Mark 2:6-9. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 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? 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?

It was just as easy to say either the one or the other.

Mark 2:10-12. 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. 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.

This exposition consisted of readings from Mark 1:28-45; Mark 2:1-12,


Verses 1-14

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

We expect to see the crowd round the door, but there was not room, even for the doorway hearers, when Jesus Christ was preaching. There is an attracting power about the voice of Jesus. We may expect that if we will let Jesus speak in the ministry, and not speak too much our own thought and our own words, there will still be the same attraction about the gospel. “He preached the Word unto them.”

Mark 2:3. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy,

A paralyzed person: that is the exact word — one, who could not come himself, but had a very anxious desire to come. They came to him, bringing a paralytic.

Mark 2:3. Which was borne of four.

Your neighbors agreed to lift him

Mark 2:4. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press,

They had tried the door very many times, but could not possibly enter.

Mark 2:4. They uncovered the roof where he was:

They, perhaps, went up the stairway of the next house, and then from one flat roof to another till they came to the top of the verandah which sheltered Christ while he preached to the people in the court. They uncovered this roof where he was.

Mark 2:4. And when they had broken it up,

For it does not seem to have been a very light structure, but to have required some labour; yet they broke it up.

Mark 2:4. They let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

Where there is a will there is a way, and when there is no way a resolute will, will make one. Better to come to Christ through the ceiling than not to come at all. Better to be let down to him by a rope than not to be in his presence.

Mark 2:5. When Jesus saw their faith,

For he has a very quick eye to faith: and though we do not read that they had said anything, and, therefore, they had not expressed their faith, yet this bold and venturous action in breaking up the roof and letting all the dust fall about the Saviour’s head, not fearing that they should provoke him, but trusting in his gentleness and patience, showed their confidence that they had only to get the man where Christ could see him, and good would come of it. “When he saw their faith.”

Mark 2:5-6. He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts.

They had come with a bad motive. They wanted to find fault, and they took their seats that they might hear everything very carefully, take notes of it, and put it down, and make as much mischief of it as ever they could.

They had all their ears open. They did not know, however, that he could read their hearts, or they might not have been so forward in coming into his presence. They were “sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts.”

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

Which was quite true, but then he was God, and therefore it was not blasphemy. Blasphemy it would have been had he not been divine.

Mark 2:8-9. 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? 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?

Do they not each require a divine power? If I be divine, I shall prove I am by healing this man. Then I have a right to say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.”

Mark 2:10-12. 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. 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.

Admire and imitate the faith and the obedience of this paralytic, He did better than some, for there have been some who, out of very gratitude, have disobeyed Christ. I mean, when he said to one that he should not tell what Christ had done. He did tell it, but this man, though no doubt his gratitude would have prompted him to stay and throw himself at his benefactor’s feet, or to stop at least and sing a hymn of thankfulness to God, yet he knows that to obey is the best form of gratitude, and as Christ had told him, “Go thy way into thy house,” he did just that. The best thing to do for Christ is to do what Christ bids you. There are many glittering forms of gratitude, but all is not gold that glitters. The most golden gratitude is that which scrupulously renders obedience to every command of Jesus Christ. Take this to heart, and do ye so.

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

Better air than there was in the house, and more room, but he kept to the same gospel. He taught them.

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.

Swept up his shekels — gathered up his account books — stopped no longer. He rose from taking toll to follow the Master. Oh! for just such a word tonight to some here present. “Follow me.” And would to God there would be such a heart in them as there was in this man named Levi, alias Matthew, that they may come and follow Jesus too.


Verses 1-28

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

It is a very singular feat that, although man, in his natural state of heart, is opposed to the gospel, yet he is drawn to hear it. Even though he abhors it, yet oftentimes he cannot help listening to it. Wherever Jesus Christ is, whether he is present in person, or in the preaching of the Word, it will be certain to be noised abroad, and multitudes will come to hear. The grandest attraction either in or out of heaven, is still the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 2:3-5. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 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. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

In Luke’s account of this gathering, we read that “the power of the Lord was present to heal them,” and when we ask, “Why was that power so remarkably present?” We think that one reason was, because there were persons present who were anxious about the good of others; and, today, wherever four persons come together praying for some poor soul, you may rest assured that the power of the Lord will there be present to heal. I do not think that so much of the success of sermons depends upon the preacher, as upon those model hearers who are all the while praying for a blessing, and who are making other members of the congregation — those who are converted, — the constant subject of their supplication. Christ blessed this man because of the faith of the four who carried him, and possibly because of his own faith. Notice that our Lord did not at first say to the sick man, “Thou art healed of thy palsy;” but he said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” This was laying the axe at the root, because sin is at the bottom of sorrow; and where sin is pardoned, even the effects of sin will be removed.

Mark 2:6-9. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 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? 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?

Whichever is spoken, Omnipotence is implied. The presence and power of God alone could give efficacy to either sentence; but, to him, the one is as easy as the other.

Mark 2:10-14. 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. 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. And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 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.

There is a change in the method of displaying Christ’s power, but his power is always the same. To the palsied man, he said “Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk;” but to the man engaged in a galling which degraded him, Christ said, “Follow me;” and “he arose and followed him.” Blessed be God, still we have in our midst the living Lord, who is as able to work miracles of mercy today as when he was upon the earth; and we have not merely to exhort, to persuade, and to entreat, though we have to do all that, but we have also to speak with authority in the name of this glorious Son of God, and to command men to repent and believe in him. He is with us, by his Spirit, to make his Word mighty, so that, to this day, palsied men do arise, and walk, and sinful men are led to turn from evil, and to follow Christ.

Mark 2:15-17. 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. 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? 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.

For ordinary Christians to associate with those who are like the publicans and sinners of Christ’s day, might be dangerous, for “evil communications corrupt good manners;” and Christians should be careful as to the company in which they are found; but for Christians to go amongst such people to try to do them good, is Christlike. The Church of Christ always fails in her duty when she looks upon any class of persons as being beneath her observation, or too far gone for her to reach. Our Lord’s mission was to find out, and to supply the needs of mankind, and he seems to have paid particular attention to the very worst of men because they needed him most; and his Church should always be guided in her choice of work by the necessity of the objects that need her care. And brethren, you and I, who are in the ministry, will do well to choose, not that sphere in which we may be most happy and comfortable, but that one in which we are most needed. If I were a lamp, and had my choice of where I would be hung, I should prefer to be hung up in the darkest place in London, where I could be of most service, and I think that every one of us would make just such a choice if we judged rightly, and desired to be where we were wanted, and to do as the Saviour did when he was on the earth.

Mark 2:18-20. 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? And Jesus said unto them, If the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

While Christ was with his people in person, they could not help having joy and gladness; but when he was gone from them, they must lament his absence.

Mark 2:21-22. The 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. 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.

The bottles were made of skin, and the wine put into them must be of a suitable port. To prescribe fasting to his disciples, while he was making them glad with his personal presence, would have been incongruous and absurd; and there are some things that we ought not to expect from young Christians, and other things that we ought not to expect from old and mature Christians. We should not expect to find new wine in old bottles, nor old wine in new bottles. “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” is not only a rule for the home and the merchant’s counting-house, but it is also a rule which should be observed in the Church of Christ; for God, as a God of order, always puts things in their proper places, and in due order.

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.

They had offended the Pharisees by not fasting, and now they were offending them again in a similar way, though with reference to a different matter.

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

According to some Rabbis, you might pick an ear of wheat on the Sabbath-day, but if you rubbed it between your hands, they said that was a sort of thieving which was a kind of labour that must not be performed on the Sabbath. They made all sorts of ingenious restrictions, too ridiculous for us to quote. These disciples were therefore, according to them, chargeable with sin, because they had plucked ears of corn, and had performed the operation of threshing them on the Sabbath-day, and we have some of that sort of folk living now who take the smallest matter, which is altogether insignificant, and in which there is neither good nor harm, and magnify and distort it, and then make a man a grave offender all for next to nothing. We have learned not to be very much troubled by anything that they choose to say.

Mark 2:25-28. 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? 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? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

He has made it to be no longer a day of bondage, but a day of blessed rest and holy service for God. Works of necessity, works of piety, and works of mercy, are not only allowed to be done, but are commanded to be done upon the Sabbath-day.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Mark 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/mark-2.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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