Jesus heals a Paralytic
17: And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18: And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19: And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20: And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21: And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22: But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23: Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24: But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25: And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26: And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.
Jesus calls the publican Levi
27: And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28: And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29: And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. 30: But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31: And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Objection – Fasting
33: And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34: And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35: But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 36: And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37: And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38: But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39: No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
Now the religious leaders and doctors of the Law from every town and city of Israel had gathered to hear Christ. At this stage they were to listen not to ask questions that would come later. In this incident because of the huge number of religious leaders the man who was paralysed is let down through the roof. Christ simple says to him, ’Your sins are forgiven’. The people gathered around are thinking who does he think he is? Only God can forgive sins committed against God! However Christ knows what they are thinking so he poses a question. This is the usual form of Jewish teaching. Christ says, ‘Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to say get up and walk?’ Well obviously its easier to say your sins are forgiven because there is no physical thing to see and therefore its easier to say. So Christ heals the man and in doing so by doing the harder thing he proves that he is able to do the easier thing. The People are astounded and the religious leaders return to the High priest to say that this man is certainly significant. Matthew also called Levi made a great feast but the Pharisees and Scribes complained that Christ associated himself with sinners and tax collectors. So Christ responds, He says I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Here we have the key to Christ ministry he was calling on the sinners of Israel to return unto the Lord their God. Then there arose a question about fasting. They said why do John’s disciples fast and the disciples of the Pharisees fast? but your disciples don’t fast? Christ said at a wedding the guests don’t fat they eat and rejoice but there will come a time when Christ will Israel and then they will mourn and fast. In the Sermon on the Mount Christ speaking of the Kingdom said, blessed are they that mourn because they will be comforted. Then Christ spoke about the difference between the Old Jewish religion and His teaching. He says Christianity is not a patch sown into and old priestly garment, because if the patch on the garment shrinks then the old priests ministry is ended because his garment is torn. And Christianity is not a new infusion of spiritual life into the old bottles of Judaism. Because the old bottles of Judaism are hard and unyielding and the new wine will burst them and then the Old bottles are destroyed and the wine is lost. The teaching of Christ must be contained in new bottles.