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By healing a paralyzed man Jesus demonstrated his authority to forgive sins as well as to heal.

1Jesus and his disciples returned to Capernaum town. A few days later, because it was {people} heard that Jesus was in his house,

2many people gathered there. As a result, after the people filled the house, there was no longer space to stand in the house or around the doorway outside. Jesus preached God’s message to them.

3Some people came to the house bringing to Jesus a man who was paralyzed. He was carried by four men {Four men carried him}on a sleeping pad.

4They were not able to bring the man to Jesus because there was a crowd there. So they went up the steps to the flat roof and removed some of the tiles above where Jesus was. Then, after they made a big hole in the roof, they lowered by ropes the sleeping pad on which the paralyzed man lay. They lowered it through the hole, down in front of Jesus.

5After Jesus perceived that the men believed that he could heal this man, he said to the paralyzed man, “My friend, I forgive your sins!”

6There were some men who taught the Jewish laws sitting there. They started deliberating within themselves like this:

7“Who does this man think he is, talking like that [RHQ]! …He is insulting God!/Does he think he is God?† [RHQ] …No person can forgive sins!/Who can forgive sins?† [RHQ] Only God can forgive sins!”

8Jesus knew right away within himself that they were deliberating like that within themselves. So he said to them, “…You should not question within yourselves whether I have the right to forgive this man’s sins!/Why do you question whether I have the right to forgive this man’s sins?† [RHQ]

9It is not risky [RHQ] for someone to tell the man who is paralyzed, ‘Your sins are forgiven {I forgive your sins},’ because no one can prove that it has happened. But no one would say to him, ‘Get up, pick up your stretcher, and then walk away’, unless he really had the power to heal him, because people can easily see whether it happens or not.

10So I will do something in order that you may know that God has authorized me, the one who came from heaven, to forgive sins on earth as well as to heal people.” Then he said to the paralyzed man,

11“To you I say, ‘Get up! Pick up your sleeping pad! And then go home!’”

12The man stood up immediately! He picked up the sleeping pad, and then he went away, while all the people there were watching. They were all amazed, and they praised God and said, “We have never before seen anything like what happened just now!”

Jesus invited Levi to be his disciple and refuted those who objected to his associating with such pe

13Jesus left Capernaum town again and walked with his disciples alongside Galilee lake. A large crowd came to him. Then he taught them.

14As he walked on further, he saw a man named Levi, whose father’s name was Alpheus. He was sitting in his office where he collected taxes for the Roman government. Jesus said to him, “Come with me and become my disciple!” So he got up and went with Jesus.

15Later, Jesus was eating a meal in Levi’s house. Many men who collected taxes and other people who were considered to be sinning regularly were eating with Jesus and his disciples. This was not surprising, for there were many people like this who were going everywhere with Jesus.

16The men who taught the Jewish laws who were there and who were members of the Pharisee sect saw that Jesus was eating with men who collected taxes and others who were considered {whom they considered}to be sinners. So they said to his disciples, “…It is disgusting that he eats with such disgusting men as those who collect taxes, and with other sinners!/Why is it that he eats with such disgusting men as those who collect taxes, and with other sinners?†” [RHQ]

17After Jesus heard what they were saying, he said to the men who taught the Jewish laws, “People who consider that they are well do not seek a doctor. On the contrary, it is those who are sick who seek a doctor [MET]!” This he said to indicate that it was those who knew that they had sinned who were coming to him in order that he might help them spiritually. And he said, “I did not come to invite people who think that [IRO] they are righteous to come to me and turn from their sinful behavior. On the contrary, I came from heaven to invite people who know that they are sinners, in order that they might turn from their sins and come to me.”

Jesus told them it was inappropriate for his disciples to show sorrow by fasting while he was with t

18The disciples of John the Baptizer and some men who belonged to the Pharisee sect used to abstain from food to show that they wanted to please God. One day, some people came to Jesus and asked him critically, “The disciples of John and the Pharisees …fast/abstain from food† from time to time, but your disciples do not. We think they should abstain from food also. What do you say about that [RHQ]?”

19Jesus wanted them to understand that it was not appropriate for his disciples to show sorrow by abstaining from food while he was still with them. So he said to them, “When a man is marrying a woman, his friends will certainly not abstain from food while he is still with them, will they [RHQ]? No. During the time that he is with them, they will not abstain from food because they are happy together.

20But some day, he will be taken away {his enemies will take him away} from them. Then, in those days, they will abstain from food, because they will be sad.”

21Jesus wanted to show that those who desire to live in accordance with his new message should not try to continue to obey the old religious traditions like fasting. So he also said to them, “People do not sew a patch of unshrunken cloth on an old garment in order to mend a hole. If they did that, when they washed the garment, the patch would shrink and the new piece of cloth would tear off more of the old cloth. As a result, the hole would become bigger!

22Similarly, people do not put newly squeezed wine into old skin bags to store it. If they did that, that wine will burst the skin bags because they would not stretch when the wine ferments and expands. As a result both the wine and the skin bags would be ruined! On the contrary, people must put new wine into new skin bags!” [MET]

When the Pharisees complained about Jesus’ disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath day, Jesus replie

23On one …Sabbath/Jewish day of rest† Jesus was walking through some grain fields with his disciples. As they were walking along through the grain fields, the disciples were plucking some of the heads of grain. They rubbed them in their hands to remove the chaff, and were eating the grain. The law of Moses permitted people to do that if they were hungry.

24Some of the Pharisees saw them doing what they considered to be work. So they said to him, “Look! …They should not be doing on our …Sabbath day/day of rest† work that our laws forbid!/Why are they doing on our …Sabbath day/day of rest† work that our laws forbid?† [RHQ]”

25Jesus wanted to show them that the record in the Scriptures indicated that God permitted people to disobey certain religious laws when they needed food. So he said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures what our revered ancestor, King David, did when he needed food, and both he and the men with him were hungry. You have read about that, but …you do not think about what it implies./why do not you think about what it implies?† [RHQ]

26During the time Abiathar was high priest, David entered the big tent where people worshipped God and asked for some bread. The high priest gave him some of the loaves of bread. That bread was the bread he had presented to God. It was permittedin Moses’ law that only the priests could eat that bread! But David ate some of it. Then he also gave some of it to the men who were with him. But God didn’t consider that was wrong!”

27Jesus said to them further, “God established …the day of rest/the Sabbath day† to help people! He did not create people to obey rules about …the Sabbath/the day of rest†!

28So think about this: I am the one who came from heaven. So I have the authority to determine what is right for my disciples to do …on the Sabbath/on the Jewish rest day†!

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