Mark 2

* Christ heals one sick of the palsy. (1-12) Levi's call, and

the entertainment given to Jesus. (13-17) Why Christ's disciples

did not fast. (18-22) He justifies his disciples for plucking

corn 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 of

those who so carried him, and teaches the compassion that should

be in men, toward their fellow-creatures in distress. True faith

and strong faith may work in various ways; but it shall be

accepted and approved by Jesus Christ. Sin is the cause of all

our pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is to

take away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all

diseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing his

power to cure the man sick of the palsy. And his curing diseases

was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the

soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christ

does in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like.

Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of a

physician, 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 to

him 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 for

the Romans. However, Christ called this publican to follow him.

With God, through Christ, there is mercy to pardon the greatest

sins, and grace to change the greatest sinners, and make them

holy. A faithful, fair-dealing publican was rare. And because

the Jews had a particular hatred to an office which proved that

they were subject to the Romans, they gave these tax-gatherers

an ill name. But such as these our blessed Lord did not hesitate

to converse with, when he appeared in the likeness of sinful

flesh. And it is no new thing for that which is both well done

and well designed, to be slandered, and turned to the reproach

of the wisest and best of men. Christ would not withdraw, though

the Pharisees were offended. If the world had been righteous,

there had been no occasion for his coming, either to preach

repentance, or to purchase forgiveness. We must not keep company

with ungodly men out of love to their vain conversation; but we

are to show love to their souls, remembering that our good

Physician had the power of healing in himself, and was in no

danger of taking the disease; but it is not so with us. In

trying to do good to others, let us be careful we do not get

harm to ourselves.
18-22 Strict professors are apt to blame all that do not fully

come up to their own views. Christ did not escape slanders; we

should be willing to bear them, as well as careful not to

deserve them; but should attend to every part of our duty in its

proper order and season.
23-28 The sabbath is a sacred and Divine institution; a

privilege and benefit, not a task and drudgery. God never

designed it to be a burden to us, therefore we must not make it

so to ourselves. The sabbath was instituted for the good of

mankind, as living in society, having many wants and troubles,

preparing for a state of happiness or misery. Man was not made

for the sabbath, as if his keeping it could be of service to

God, nor was he commanded to keep it outward observances to his

real hurt. Every observance respecting it, is to be interpreted

by the rule of mercy.
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