HIS OWN TOWN: Capernaum (Mar 2:1). Cp Joh 2:12: Christ
had moved his family there.
BROUGHT: "Like an empty pitcher to the
THEIR FAITH: Power of faith and intercession of others:
Mat 8:13; 9:32; 15:28; 17:14-18; Luk 8:50; Joh 4:49; Jos 6:17; Gen 7:1; 18:32;
19:12; Act 27:24.
PARALYTIC: One who is helpless. "When we were without
strength Christ died for us" (Rom 5:6). Cp Rom 7:24,25; Isa 35:8.
YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN: The divine order: sins forgiven
first; then, healing.
THIS FELLOW IS BLASPHEMING: "Who can forgive sins but
God alone?" (Mar 2:7; Luk 5:21). See Isa 43:25; Dan 9:9. But surely they were
forgetting that on the Day of Atonement the High Priest acted on God's behalf to
do this very thing!
It is easier to SAY, "Your sins are forgiven", but harder to
DO! The best proof of sins forgiven is to stand up and WALK!
The main purpose of the literal miracle was to demonstrate
Christ's spiritual power to forgive sins.
THE SON OF MAN: "The embodiment of the race in whom the
divine purpose with man is fulfilled; the second Adam who is the beginning of a
new creation" (SMk 31). The title used of Ezekiel (Eze 2:1...) and Daniel (Dan
8:17). Cp Gen 1:26; Psa 8:4-6; 80:17,18: "Ben-Adam"; Dan 7:13,14.
AUTHORITY: "There was given to him dominion (ie
authority)" (Dan 7:14).
GET UP: The best proof of forgiveness: to "get up" and
"walk" in new life.
// Psa 102:2,3 (cp Jam 5:15); Psa 107:17-21.
Praising God for his healings: Psa 103:2,3. Healing and
forgiveness together in Jam 5:15; Psa 107:17-21.
Vv 9-13: Mat 8 and Mat 9 are one long catalogue of miracles,
except for the call of Matthew. Point: Matthew considers his discipleship (his
calling away from his sordid profession) to be a great "miracle" too! (WGos
// Isa 58:4-12: fasting, garments, feasting,
MATTHEW: Or Levi (Mar 2:14; Luk 5:27).
FOLLOW ME: This calling of a new type of disciple -- a
publican, not a fisherman -- emphasizes the broadening appeal of Christ's call
-- and also that aspect of his ministry that brings him into conflict with the
Pharisees (ie Mat 9:11; Mar 2:16; Luk 5:30). Typ of Isa 58:4-12: Fasting,
garments, feasting, healing.
DINNER: Typ wedding feast (Mat 9:15; Mar 2:19; Luk
5:34,35). The calling of a new sort of disciple (a publican, not a fisherman):
broadening appeal of Christ's call, and an affront to Pharisees (v 30). Cp Gen
21:8: a great feast, to publicly designate the heir to the promises. Again (as
in Gen), immediately followed by mockery from the supposed "heir" -- ie the
Pharisees (Mat 9:11; Mar 2:16; Luk 5:30) (WGos 133).
The Song of Songs forms the background for this section, but
set also against the prophecy of Hosea: joy and forgiveness; the bride is indeed
spotless, but only because her sins have been forgiven (SMk 42,43).
"Any attempt at alliance with the Pharisees was bound to mean
ruin for Jesus' movement, because the Pharisees were interested only in
absorbing for their own prestige and benefit this and any other surge of
religious enthusiasm" (WGos 137).
WHEN THE PHARISEES SAW THIS: They would not attend a
meal with such guests, but they would watch from a distance to find
THEY ASKED HIS DISCIPLES: Trying to drive a wedge
between leaders and followers. How clever! Jesus is criticized to his disciples
(Mat 2:11; Mar 2:16; Luk 5:30), and his disciples are criticized to Jesus (Mat
2:14; Mar 2:18; Luk 5:33)!
HEALTHY: Lit "the strong ones" (ct v 2). A powerful
irony. "A suicidal self-sufficiency" (NMk 24), and an infatuation with rituals,
and a penchant for hypocrisy.
A Heb idiom: "Not so much this as that." "Not only this but
that also." Pro 8:10; Jer 7:22,23; Joel 2:13; Mar 9:37; Luk 14:26; Joh 3:17;
5:30; 6:27; 7:16; 9:30; 12:44,47; 14:24; Act 5:4; Rom 2:13; 1Co 7:10; 15:10; 1Jo
Mic 6:8: In context, "until they acknowledge their offense,
and then (and then only) will He heal them" (Hos 5:15; 6:1).
HOW IS IT THAT WE... FAST?: Mon and Thurs -- the 2
weekly fast days of Pharisaic tradition (SMk 42). Cp Luk 18:12n. Their fasting
was, supposedly, to hasten the coming of the Messiah (WGos 136).
AND THE PHARISEES: Impl a certain affinity between
John's disciples and the Pharisees.
THE GUESTS OF THE BRIDEGROOM: "The children of the
bridechamber" (AV). General term for all invited guests. "Eat, O friends, and
drink abundantly, O beloved" (Song 5:1): the invitation of the bridegroom. Also
an allusion to Joh 3:29.
THE BRIDEGROOM WILL BE TAKEN FROM THEM: For the first
time, the "shadow of the cross" falls across Mark's pages. An allusion to Song
5:6,7. Also to Isa 53:8: "His life was taken away" (LXX).
THEN THEY WILL FAST: The Pharisees fasted to hasten the
coming of the Messiah, but now that he had come their whole system of traditions
had been rendered meaningless.
The new way of life (which Christ brings) cannot be torn apart
to patch an old and useless garment. The new "garment" must be used in its
entirety. The old garment (fig-leaf covering) must be put aside completely in
favor of the new garment (skins, required bloodshed). "Put off old man; put on
new man" (Eph 4:23,24; cp Exo 28r; Isa 61:1,3,10).
UNSHRUNK CLOTH: A cloth not properly prepared for a
garment: Luk 5:36n. As with the prodigal son, only a new garment will suffice
for a new life: Luk 15:22. Lit "raw", or "unfulled". To "full" a garment: to
shrink, or otherwise prepare cloth by pressure, heat, or moisture.
The new life in Christ is not a "patch" for the old; it is a
new "whole". Cp Jos 9:4,13; Psa 119:83.
A RULER: "One of the synagogue rulers" (Mar 5:22). A
president of synagogue, who had likely ignored Jesus until now. Some synagogues
probably had more than one ruler (Act 13:15). "He WAS a ruler..." (KJV). Was
Jairus later demoted through becoming a follower of Jesus?
CAME: He did not send for Jesus, as might one in his
position; instead, he came to Jesus, as a lesser comes to a greater.
JUST DIED: Note progression: "about to die" (Luk 7:2);
just died (Mat 9:18); about to be buried (Luk 7:12); and dead 4 days (Joh
SUBJECT TO BLEEDING: Ceremonially unclean, and a social
outcast (Lev 15:19-30). She was supposed to be separated from other people, and
from the synagogue, and from Temple worship -- not for any moral reason, but for
a physical condition. In effect, she was being punished for something of which
she was not guilty.
TWELVE YEARS: Cp the 12 years of v 42. This woman's
misery was as old as the daughter of Jairus.
CAME UP BEHIND HIM: By rabbinical law, she should not
have even been in the city -- much less in a crowd of people. This took great
courage on the part of a poor, and probably weak and frail, woman.
We have to seek out and reach for Jesus; he will not be handed
to us on a silver platter!
AND TOUCHED THE EDGE OF HIS CLOAK: With its border of
blue (cp Num 15:37,38). To do so, she must have fallen to her knees.
"In those days ten men from all languages and nations will
take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you,
because we have heard that God is with you' " (Zec 8:23).
All the occasions of Jesus touching, or being touched, in the
context of healing (notice that not one of them is in John's gospel): Mat
8:3,15; 9:20,21,29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 3:10; 5:27,28,30,31; 6:56;
7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luk 5:13; 6:19; 7:14,39; 8:44-47; 18:15; 22:51.
The reverse of legal restriction: 'If I touch him, he shall be
unclean too!' A man who could touch unclean, and yet remain pure himself.
HIS CLOAK: "The sun of righteousness... with healing in
his wings" (Mal 4:2), ie borders (Num 15:38 sw) of his garments.
DAUGHTER: Mentioned in both miracles here.
This is the only occasion when Jesus so addresses any woman;
he demonstrates that there is a spiritual relationship between them, beyond all
YOUR FAITH: And not simply my power....
HAS HEALED YOU: With restored ability to bear children,
THE CROWD HAD BEEN PUT OUTSIDE: Cp context of Mat 8; 9
with Num 5:1-4. By LM, lepers, bleeders, and those defiled by dead were "put
out" of camp. Here, Christ heals such as this, whilst putting the disbelievers
"outside" (Tes 52:257,258).
TOOK THE GIRL BY THE HAND: Christ touches that which is
defiled. Death! the ultimate defilement, yet held no fear for Christ, who
"tasted death" for all men.
AND SHE GOT UP: A parable of baptism: sleep of death,
touch of Master's hand, words: "Arise" and "walk"! Baptism will "raise us from
the dead", but we must "get up and walk" -- or it means... ultimately... nothing
"Thy touch has still its ancient power;
No word from thee can fruitless fall.
Hear in this solemn evening hour,
And in thy mercy heal us all.
Jesus, Deliverer, near to us be;
Soothe thou our voyaging over life's sea:
Then when the storm of death roars, sweeping by,
Say thou, O Lord of life, 'Peace, it is I.' "
THEN HE TOUCHED THEIR EYES: All the occasions of Jesus
touching, or being touched, in the context of healing (notice that not one of
them is in John's gospel): Mat 8:3,15; 9:20,21,29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34; Mark
1:41; 3:10; 5:27,28,30,31; 6:56; 7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luk 5:13; 6:19; 7:14,39;
8:44-47; 18:15; 22:51.
SEE THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS: Silence was his
settled policy for most of his ministry (Mat 9:30; 17:9; 12:16; Mar 1:34; 5:43;
7:36; 8:26; Luk 5:14), with one notable exception (Mar 5:19 -- Legion with his
family). But in last days of ministry, a change of course (Mat 21:1-11; Joh
7:37; 9:3; 11:4).
WAS BROUGHT TO JESUS: Power of faith and intercession
of others: Mat 8:13; 9:32; 15:28; 17:14-18; Luk 7:10; 8:50; Joh 4:49; Jos 6:17;
Gen 7:1; 18:32; 19:12; Act 27:24.
ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THEREFORE, TO SEND OUT WORKERS
INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD: This is precisely what Jesus did when confronted
with a nation ripe for "harvest": pray and then choose 12 laborers (Mat
TO SEND OUT: Cast out, expel -- impl great reluctance
on the part of the laborers.