Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
1Several days later, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and the news quickly spread that he was back in town. 2Soon there were so many people crowded inside the house to hear him that there was no more room, even outside the door.
While Jesus was preaching the word of God, 3four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man. 4But when they realized that they couldn’t even get near him because of the crowd, they went up on top of the house and tore away the roof above Jesus’ head. And when they had broken through, they lowered the paralyzed man on a stretcher right down in front of him! 5When Jesus saw the extent of their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are now forgiven.”
6This offended some of the religious scholars who were present, and they reasoned among themselves, 7“Who does he think he is to speak this way? This is blasphemy for sure! Only God himself can forgive sins!”
8Jesus supernaturally perceived their thoughts and said to them, “Why are you being so skeptical? 9Which is easier, to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are now forgiven,’ or, ‘Stand up and walk!’? 10But to convince you that the Son of Man has been given authority to forgive sins, 11I say to this man, ‘Stand up, pick up your stretcher, and walk home.’ ” 12Immediately the man sprang to his feet in front of everyone and left for home.
When the crowds witnessed this miracle, they were awestruck. They shouted praises to God and said, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew) to Follow Him
13Jesus went out to walk near Lake Galilee, and a massive crowed gathered, so he taught them. 14As he walked along, he found Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth, collecting taxes. He approached him and said, “Come follow me.” Immediately he got up from his booth and began to follow Jesus.
15Later, Jesus and his disciples went to have a meal with Levi. Among the guests in Levi’s home were many tax collectors and notable sinners sharing a meal with Jesus, for there were many kinds of people who followed him. 16But when the religious scholars and the Pharisees found out that Jesus was keeping company and dining with sinners and tax collectors, they were indignant. So they approached Jesus’ disciples and said to them, “Why is it that someone like Jesus defiles himself by eating with sinners and tax collectors?”
17But when Jesus overheard their complaint, he said to them, “Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who are sinners and bring them to repentance.”
Jesus Questioned about Fasting
18One time, the disciples of John the Baptizer and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and asked, “Why is it that John’s disciples and disciples of the Pharisees are fasting but your disciples are not?”
19Jesus answered, “How can the sons of the bridal chamber fast when the bridegroom is next to them? As long as the bridegroom is with them they won’t, 20but the days of fasting will come when the Bridegroom is taken from them.
21“And who would mend worn-out clothing with new fabric? When the new cloth shrinks, it will rip, making the tear worse than before. 22And who would pour fresh, new wine into an old wineskin? Eventually the wine will ferment and make the wineskin burst, losing everything—the wine will be spilled and the wineskin ruined. Instead, new wine is always poured into new wineskins.”
Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath
23One Saturday, on the day of rest, Jesus and his disciples were walking through a field of wheat. The disciples were hungry, so they plucked off some heads of grain to eat. 24But when some of the Pharisees saw what was happening, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples shouldn’t be harvesting grain on the Sabbath!”
25Jesus responded, “Haven’t you ever read what King David and his men did when they were hungry? 26They entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the sacred bread of God’s presence. They violated the law by eating bread that only the priests were allowed to eat. But there is one here who is even greater than the temple.”
27Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for the sake of people, and not people for the Sabbath. 28For this reason the Son of Man exercises his lordship over the Sabbath.”