Good morning everyone.
Today we continue our study together in the Book of Mark and chapter two.
This chapter begins with the Lord Jesus Christ being present in the house.
The house was so jam-packed with people.
The Lord also preached the word to people.
This is an example of the church.
We need to continue to preach and teach the word of God from the Bible.
We also learned that God has made an exclusive promise to the nation of Israel concerning their physical health.
We looked at the scriptures from [Exodus 23:23-25] two weeks ago.
God tells the nation of Israel to obey Him.
If the nation obeys the Lord, He will help smite those Gentile nations.
God also tells the nation of Israel to not bow down and worship the gods of those nations.
God commands the nation of Israel to go break and destroy those idols and images.
If the nation of Israel serves no other gods and is obedient to the Lord, He will bless them, and no sickness will touch them.
If you carefully read these scriptures, you will know that the promise of a physical welling is granted to the nation of Israel exclusively.
Sadly, many Christians today do not pay attention to the word of God.
They believe that if they get saved, everything in their life will always be fine.
They think they will have no sickness or other serious illness.
For us, God has promised a spiritual blessing of a life everlasting if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The blind, dumb, and palsy during the time of a New Testament is a direct testimony that the nation of Israel has disobeyed and sinned against the Lord.
We also see that the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced the sin of the man with palsy forgiven.
Immediately, that man arose, took up the bed and could walk again.
The Book of Mark presents the Lord Jesus Christ as a humble servant.
The Lord not only teaches us, but He shows us by His example.
If we are to summarize the Book of Mark with one verse, we can go to [Mark 10:45].
Let us remember this verse.
I will read it aloud for you this morning.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
We will continue with verse 13.
Mark 2:13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
The Lord went by the seaside and many people came to listen to His teaching.
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.
While Jesus was passing by, He met Levi. This is another name of the gospel writer Matthew.
Levi was working at the tax office while he first met Jesus.
The Lord asked Levi to follow Him.
Levi acted promptly.
He decided to follow Jesus right away.
If you would like to be a disciple of Jesus, you need to be ready and follow His instructions with no delay.
The Jews do not like tax collectors.
This is because they work for the Roman government.
The Jews were promised with the land by God.
Because of their disobedience, God sent the Romans to take control of their land.
If you worked as a tax collector during those days, people just hated you.
It seemed like you have betrayed your nation.
We also see a spiritual application here.
Levi, also known as Matthew, worked as a tax collector.
His job might not be right according to the Jews, but Jesus knew that He could use Matthew to accomplish great things.
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.
Now we see that the Lord Jesus Christ went to the house of Matthew.
The word meat here means food.
It seems like Matthew has invited his co-workers to join the meal with Jesus as well.
The Bible speaks that sinners were joining the meal with them.
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?
Again, we see the two characters, scribes, and Pharisees mentioned.
Oftentimes, when these people appear on the scene, they always find faults with Jesus.
The scribes are those who write and copy the scriptures.
They probably know the word of God by heart.
However, they did not even recognize that Jesus was their God of the scriptures that they were writing and copying.
They think that Jesus was a blasphemer when He pronounced the sin of the palsy forgiven.
Pharisees are people well educated. They know about the Law of Moses.
These people were not brave enough to talk directly to Jesus.
The scripture says
… they said unto his disciples.
The Pharisees and scribes think that everybody is a sinner.
However, they do not see themselves as sinners.
God has made a plan of salvation so simple.
We also know that God never wants anyone to perish.
The first step for people to get saved is that they need to admit they are sinners.
Otherwise, they would not see the need for a Savior.
Let us go to [Romans 10:1-4].
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
The Holy Spirit used apostle Paul to write these passages to remind the Jews especially those of scribes and Pharisees.
They did have a passion for God.
However, they have gone far to believe that they are righteous on their own.
They believe in their self-righteousness.
This is not only them, but it is also true to all other worldwide religions.
After all, their key teaching can be summarized to the point that you need to do some kind of good work or deed or merit to go to heaven.
As long as the people still cling to their self-righteousness, they have rendered God’s plan of salvation none effect.
Still, we need to continue to pray for them.
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.
The Lord uses everyday life situations of a physical sense to teach us a spiritual application.
This is simple.
If you have no fever, no cough or no sore throat, you will not see the need to visit the doctor.
With coronavirus disease this time, if you start to have a fever and difficulty breathing, you will see the need to go see a doctor immediately.
In Jesus’ mind, there are two types of people.
One is those who believe in Him and get saved.
This group admits that they are sinners, on the way to hell and need a Savior.
Another group is those who do not believe in Him and remain lost in sin.
This group does not admit that they are sinners and still believe in their good works to save them.
Next, we will see that Jesus is dealing with the issue of fasting.
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?
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.
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.
Fasting here is the determination for a spiritual reason to skip a meal for some time.
In the Old Testament, God has ordained seven feasts for the nation of Israel which is recorded in the Book of Leviticus and chapter twenty-three.
He did not ordain fasting.
It was practiced, but it has always been voluntary.
If it is commanded that the disciples are to do fasting, it will be wrong for those disciples of Jesus to not fast.
The fact that those disciples did not fast is proven that fasting is not required.
Without commanding it, Jesus knows and is confident that once He is gone the disciples will fast.
We also see that Jesus called Himself as the “bridegroom” even before He began to assemble the church that would be His bride.
The Lord anticipates that believers will fast when He is gone.
He anticipates that souls will be saved after He died on the cross and rose again.
He can call Himself as the “bridegroom” because He knows that there will be the church to be His bride.
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.
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.
Again, we see Jesus uses everyday life examples to show us a spiritual truth.
If your old cloth rents, sewing or patching it with a new piece of fabric cannot make it as good as it was.
The Lord Jesus Christ, with His first advent, came to start something new.
He did not come to fix Judaism.
He came to build the church, give new birth and new life.
The church is a brand-new thing that Jesus has started.
There is a religion in this world that still tries to mix new and old things.
A clear example is Roman Catholicism which still holds high regard to the role of the priest.
According to the New Testament, all born again, redeemed and blood-washed believers are the priests.
Let us search the scriptures and see about this.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Saved believers have all of these privileges because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished at the cross.
We cannot glory in ourselves.
We can only give thanks to the Lord and praise His name forever.