Mark 2* Christ heals one sick of the palsy. (1-12) Levi's call, andthe entertainment given to Jesus. (13-17) Why Christ's disciplesdid not fast. (18-22) He justifies his disciples for pluckingcorn on the sabbath. (23-28)1-12 It was this man's misery that he needed to be so carried,and shows the suffering state of human life; it was kind ofthose who so carried him, and teaches the compassion that shouldbe in men, toward their fellow-creatures in distress. True faithand strong faith may work in various ways; but it shall beaccepted and approved by Jesus Christ. Sin is the cause of allour pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is totake away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of alldiseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing hispower to cure the man sick of the palsy. And his curing diseaseswas a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of thesoul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christdoes in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like.Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of aphysician, therefore despise or neglect Christ and his gospel.But the convinced, humbled sinner, who despairs of all help,excepting from the Saviour, will show his faith by applying tohim without delay. 13-17 Matthew was not a good character, or else, being a Jew,he would never have been a publican, that is, a tax-gatherer forthe Romans. However, Christ called this publican to follow him.With God, through Christ, there is mercy to pardon the greatestsins, and grace to change the greatest sinners, and make themholy. A faithful, fair-dealing publican was rare. And becausethe Jews had a particular hatred to an office which proved thatthey were subject to the Romans, they gave these tax-gatherersan ill name. But such as these our blessed Lord did not hesitateto converse with, when he appeared in the likeness of sinfulflesh. And it is no new thing for that which is both well doneand well designed, to be slandered, and turned to the reproachof the wisest and best of men. Christ would not withdraw, thoughthe Pharisees were offended. If the world had been righteous,there had been no occasion for his coming, either to preachrepentance, or to purchase forgiveness. We must not keep companywith ungodly men out of love to their vain conversation; but weare to show love to their souls, remembering that our goodPhysician had the power of healing in himself, and was in nodanger of taking the disease; but it is not so with us. Intrying to do good to others, let us be careful we do not getharm to ourselves. 18-22 Strict professors are apt to blame all that do not fullycome up to their own views. Christ did not escape slanders; weshould be willing to bear them, as well as careful not todeserve them; but should attend to every part of our duty in itsproper order and season. 23-28 The sabbath is a sacred and Divine institution; aprivilege and benefit, not a task and drudgery. God neverdesigned it to be a burden to us, therefore we must not make itso to ourselves. The sabbath was instituted for the good ofmankind, as living in society, having many wants and troubles,preparing for a state of happiness or misery. Man was not madefor the sabbath, as if his keeping it could be of service toGod, nor was he commanded to keep it outward observances to hisreal hurt. Every observance respecting it, is to be interpretedby the rule of mercy.
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