Mark 2.1-27 tells us about Yeshua’s first confrontations with the scribes and the Pharisees from the School of Shammai; his healing of the paralytic and forgiveness of sins; his calling of Levi and others; the need to fast and whether one can pick grain on the Sabbath.
v 1…And when he had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that he was at home (his dwelling, or possibly Peter’s house).
v 2…And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room (in the house), even near the door (they could not come near the door); and he was speaking the word to them (informally).
v 3…And they came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men (possibly a quadriplegic).
v 4…And being unable to get to him (Yeshua) on account of the crowd, they removed the roof above him (the clay slabs or tiles); and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.
v 5…And Yeshua seeing their faith (the word for faith is “emunah” and it means confident action) said to the paralytic, “My son (a child of God), your sins are forgiven (it must have been the root of his sickness-for what son is he whom the father does not chasten).
v 6…But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts (thoughts),
v 7…”Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming (blasphemy is calling something “holy” or having a kedusha, when it doesn’t, or calling something “unholy” or not having a kedusha when it does), who can forgive sins but God alone (and they were right, so Yeshua deals with them as men entitled to an answer).”
v 8…And immediately Yeshua, perceiving in his spirit (his divine nature knows our most secret thoughts) that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts (not for questioning that none but God can forgive sins, but for thinking he was blasphemous in what he said)?
v 9…Which is easier to say (for me) to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven (what you can’t see)’; or to say, ‘Arise and take up your pallet and walk (what you can see).’
v 10…But in order that you may know that the son of man (“Bar enosh” of Dan 7.13 and an eschatological term for the Messiah) has authority on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the paralytic,
v 11…”I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”
v 12…And he arose (to show his sins were forgiven) and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all (or “against them all” because he had to make his way through the crowd; he is now strong enough to do that); so that they were amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this (by any of the religious leaders, etc).
v 13…And he went out again by the seashore (sea of Galilee); and all the multitude (who had been at the house) were coming to him, and he was teaching them (his teaching was always based on the Torah).
v 14…And as he passed by, he saw Levi (also known as Matthew-Matt 9.9) the son of Alpheus, sitting in the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me (he wasn’t even looking for Yeshua, but Yeshua was looking for him).”
v 15…And it came about that he was reclining in his house (Levi’s), and many tax-gatherers and sinners (these groups were infamous to the Pharisees of Beit, or “house”, of Shammai) were dining with Yeshua and his talmidim (disciples or students; after the twelve are empowered by the Ruach ha Kodesh they will be known as shaliachim, or sent ones); for there were many of them, and they were following him.
v 16…And when the scribes of the Pharisees (of Beit Shammai who opposed Beit Hillel, the two main schools of the Pharisees; we know this is Beit Shammai because they limited contact with sinners or “chata’im”; and remember everyone is divided into one of three categories; we have the tzadikim or righteous, the chata’im or sinners, and the rashim or wicked, and tax-gatherers-Matt 9.11. The tax men worked for Rome, and Beit Shammai was allied with the Zealots who hated Rome, so anyone who worked with Rome was hated; Beit Hillel tried to reach out to the sinners and tax men, etc) saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax-gatherers they began saying to his talmidim, “Why is he eating and drinking with tax-gatherers and sinners?”
v 17…And hearing this, Yeshua said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick (a proverbial expression).”
v 18…And John’s talmidim and the Pharisees (probably from Shammai) were fasting (that day for some reason, and were not happy about all the feasting in v 15); and they came and said to him, “Why do John’s talmidim (who stressed repentance) and the talmidim of the Pharisees (of Shammai who fasted twice a week-Luke 18.12) fast, but your talmidim do not fast (according to their rabbinical traditions)?”
v 19…And Yeshua said to them, “While the bridegroom (Yeshua) is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom do not fast, do they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast (it would not be suitable for them to fast because wherever the groom was there should have been joy and feasting).
v 20…But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them (Yeshua’s physical presence will not be with them), and they will fast in that day (Yeshua is claiming to be the Messiah in these verses).
v 21…No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth (fasting after Yeshua is gone) on an old garment (Yeshua’s teachings were from old because they came from God-John 7.16, and he was still with them), otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.
v 22…And no one puts new wine (fasting when Yeshua is gone) into old wineskins (Yeshua is the old wineskin and still present with them, so it was a time of joy in the old wine; his teachings were from old), otherwise, the wine will burst the skins and the wine is lost, and the skins ruined; but put new wine into fresh skins (Yeshua will not be present one day and then it will be a proper time to fast-see Matt 9.15-17 comments; everything into their proper receptacles).”
v 23…And it came about that he was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath and his talmidim began to make their way along while picking the heads (and rubbing them together to get the grain to eat).
v 24…And the Pharisees (probably from Beit Shammai who had a tradition that this was a sub-category for threshing, which was not allowed on the Sabbath) were saying to him, “See here, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath (according to their rabbinical traditions)?”
v 25…And he said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was in need and became hungry, he and his companions:
v 26…how he entered into the house of God (the Mishkan) in the time of Abiathar the high priest (Ahimelech was the high priest but his son Abiathar was born by the time this happened, so it happened “in the time of Abiathar” and this is an accurate statement-Mat 12.1-7; the particle here may be rendered “about or before Abiathar was high priest; he was the sagan, or deputy high priest), and ate the consecrated bread (from the Shulchan Ha Lechem ha Pannim or the “table of the bread of the faces” that only the priests could eat after it was taken off that table on the Sabbath) when it was not lawful for anyone to eat except for the priests, and he gave it also to those who were with him (we have the same situation here as in 1 Sam 21; it was a Sabbath and they were good men in need, and the high priest gave them permission to do it after asking Yehovah, like Ahimelech did in 1 Sam 22.10; the main concept is this, if the needs of the Temple outweigh the Sabbath, what about the needs of men? The answer is “Yes”-Mark 2.27)?”
v 27…And he was saying to them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, consequently, the son of Man (Messiah as in Dan 7.13) is Lord even of the Sabbath (necessity has no law; in 2 Chr 30.18-20 we have the example in Hezekiah’s day; many ate the Passover as written in the Torah without purifying themselves, and the Lod pardoned the people. The Torah was given for the people, not the people for the Torah; within the framework of the Torah there is a concept called the “Hierarchy of Principles.” Certain needs take precedence-v 25-26; if they knew Yeshua was the Messiah and high priest, they would have had no cause to criticize those who had permission to do this; it’s the same with the priests who work on the Sabbath in the Temple-Matt 12.5; Yeshua is Yehovah, Messiah, the high priest, the “Temple” and the Lord of the Sabbath, and he makes the rules, not the rabbis through their rabbinical decrees and traditions).”