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Mark 2:1-7

The key word in this passage is authority. Jesus had been healing people throughout the region. See the last chapter.

He’s a rock star. That is why they are so crowded in this house that the four friends cannot get in to bring their paralyzed friend.

Jesus changes things up. He first says, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Wait, what? It’s one thing to heal someone’s body, but to forgive sins is something only God can do.


Jesus claims the authority of God. 

The leaders don’t like this.

Mark 2:13-17

Levi is a tax collector.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t look at Levi and say, “Your sins are forgiven.” 

Instead, Jesus says, “Follow me.”

Levi’s entanglement in darkness is very different from the paralytic. The only way Levi can be free is to follow Jesus. That means he has to get up, change what he is doing, and move in a new direction.

The first step he takes is the most natural. He throws a party for his friends. Of course his friends are just like him.

Jesus doesn’t care. He steps across the boundaries of cultural taboo and sits and eats with “sinners and tax collectors.”

Why not? They’re the ones who need to know him the most. How else will they meet him and be invited to follow him if he doesn’t start where they are?

The leaders don’t like this.

Mark 2:18-22

Jesus breaks more cultural rules. His disciples don’t fast like good Jewish rabbi’s disciples should. 

Jesus’ response to this question is curious. He uses three metaphors:

A Wedding Banquet

When you’re with the bridegroom, you party. When he’s gone, and you’re worried about him, you pray and fast.

Old and New Clothes

If you want to patch an old cloak, you can’t put new cloth on it, because it will shrink.

Old and New Wine

If you make new wine, you have to put it in fresh wineskins that will expand with it and not burst.

Notice something in these metaphors. Jesus does NOT say that we should never fast, or throw out old clothes, or not drink old wine.

In fact, old wine is usually better than new wine. 

What he does say is that you have to adapt. New things can’t be placed into old systems. 

Life changes. 

We must adapt…or the skins burst and there is no wine for anybody to drink.

What changes is God bringing into your life?

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