Mark 2 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Mark 2)

Verse 2

[2] And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

And immediately many were gathered together — Hitherto continued the general impression on their hearts. Hitherto, even at Capernaum, all who heard received the word with joy.

Verse 3

[3] And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Matthew 9:2; Luke 5:18.

Verse 4

[4] And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

They uncovered the roof — Or, took up the covering, the lattice or trap door, which was on all their houses, (being flat roofed.) And finding it not wide enough, broke the passage wider, to let down the couch.

Verse 6

[6] But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

But certain of the scribes — See whence the first offence cometh! As yet not one of the plain unlettered people were offended. They all rejoiced in the light, till these men of learning came, to put darkness for light, and light for darkness. Wo to all such blind guides! Good had it been for these if they had never been born. O God, let me never offend one of thy simple ones! Sooner let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!

Verse 12

[12] And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

They were all amazed — Even the scribes themselves for a time.

Verse 13

[13] And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

All the multitude came to him — Namely, by the sea side. And he as readily taught them there as if they had been in a synagogue.

Verse 14

[14] And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27.

Verse 15

[15] And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

Many publicans and notorious sinners sat with Jesus - Some of them doubtless invited by Matthew, moved with compassion for his old companions in sin. But the next words, For there were many, and they followed him, seem to imply, that the greater part, encouraged by his gracious words and the tenderness of his behaviour, and impatient to hear more, stayed for no invitation, but pressed in after him, and kept as close to him as they could.

Verse 16

[16] And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

And the scribes and Pharisees said — So now the wise men being joined by the saints of the world, went a little farther in raising prejudices against our Lord. In his answer he uses as yet no harshness, but only calm, dispassionate reasoning.

Verse 17

[17] When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

I came not to call the righteous — Therefore if these were righteous I should not call them. But now, they are the very persons I came to save.

Verse 18

[18] And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

Matthew 9:14; Luke 5:33.

Verse 23

[23] And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

Matthew 12:1; Luke 6:1.

Verse 26

[26] How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

In the days of Abiathar the high priest — Abimelech, the father of Abiathar, was high priest then; Abiathar himself not till some time after. This phrase therefore only means, In the time of Abiathar, who was afterward the high priest. 1 Samuel 21:6.

Verse 27

[27] And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

The Sabbath was made for man — And therefore must give way to man's necessity.

Verse 28

[28] Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Moreover the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath — Being the supreme Lawgiver, he hath power to dispense with his own laws; and with this in particular.

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