Note. Only those words and passages
which have no parallel in the First Gospel are commented upon here. For the rest the reader
should consult the Commentary on the parallel passages in Matthew.
I. THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS 1-13
Inauguration of the Ministry in Galilee 1, 14 -- 3, 19 (continued)
2, 1-12: A Paralytic at Capharnaum. Parallels in Matt. 9, 2-8 and
Luke 5, 17-26. 4. They stripped off the roof: the flat roof of
this house was covered with "tiles" (Luke), i.e., large slabs of brick or stone, which could be removed without causing too
much inconvenience to the people who were with Christ in the room immediately below.
13-17: The Call of Levi. Parallels in Matt. 9, 9-13 and Luke 5, 27-32. 13
is peculiar to Mark.
2, 18-22: The Question of Fasting.
Parallels in Matt. 9, 14-17 and Luke 5, 33-38. 18. Were fasting:
i.e., "were accustomed to fast" on certain days; an explanation necessary for Mark's Gentile readers.
2, 23-28: The Disciples Pluck Grain on the Sabbath. Parallels in Matt. 12,
1-8 and Luke 6, 1-5. 26. When Abiathar was high priest: these words
of Christ are found only in Mark and cause some difficulty since, according to 1 Kgs. 21, 1 ff, Achimelech
was high priest at this time. See note to text. 27. Mark alone records this
important principle which Christ enunciates here: the positive laws of God are intended for man's good; therefore, if under
certain circumstances they conflict with man's greater good, they are no longer obligatory.
A Paralytic at
Capharnaum 1 After some days, he again entered Capharnaum and it was reported that he was at home.
2 And many gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even around the door. And he spoke the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four. 4 And since they could not bring him to Jesus because
of the crowd, they stripped off the roof where he was, and, having made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the
paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee."
6 Now some of the Scribes were
sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 "Why does this man speak thus? He blasphemes. Who can forgive sins,
but only God!" 8 And at once Jesus, knowing in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, "Why
are you arguing these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Thy sins are forgiven thee,'
or to say, 'Arise, and take up thy pallet, and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth
to forgive sins"---he said to the paralytic--- 11 "I say to thee, arise and, take up thy pallet, and go to thy house."
12 And immediately he arose and, taking up his pallet, went forth in the sight of all, so that they were all amazed, and glorified
God, saying, "Never did we see the like."
The Call of Levi 13 And he went forth again by the water's
edge, and all the crowd kept coming to him, and he taught them. 14 And as he was passing along, he saw Levi, the son
of Alpheus, sitting in the tax-collector's place, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.
15 And it came to pass as he was at table in Levi's house, that many publicans and sinners were at table with Jesus and his
disciples, for there were many and they also followed him. 16 And the Scribes and Pharisees, seeing that he ate with
sinners and publicans, said to his disciples, "Why does your master eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" 17 And
Jesus heard this, and said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a physician, but they who are sick. For I did not
come to call the just, but sinners."
The Question of Fasting 18 And the disciples of John and the Pharisees
were fasting. And they came, and said to him, "Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, whereas thy disciples
do not fast?" 19 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom shall
be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of raw cloth on an old garment;
else the new patch tears away from the old, and a worse rent is made. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wine-skins;
else the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is spilt, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into
Disciples Pluck Grain 23 And it came to pass again as he was going through the standing grain on the Sabbath,
that his disciples began, as they went along, to pluck the ears of grain. 24* But the Pharisees said to him, "Behold,
why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when
he and those who were with him were in need, and hungry? 26 how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high
priest, and ate the loaves of proposition, which he could not lawfully eat, but only the priests? and how he gave them to
those who were with him?" 27 And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
28 Therefore the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
24: The Pharisees insisted on an extreme observance
of the Sabbath rest and condemned even necessary work on that day.