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1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
Ver. 1. And it was noised ] The Son of righteousness could as little lie hidden as the sun in heaven.
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.
Ver. 2. Many were gathered together ] Erasmus observeth that Origen, in his sermons to the people, chideth them for nothing more than for their thin assemblies to hear the Word, and for their careless hearing of that, which they ought to attend to with utmost diligence; recte iudicans, saith he, hinc esse praecipuum pietatis profectum aut defectum.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Ver. 3. Which was borne of four ] Apprehensis quatuor lecti extremitatibus, vivo cadaveri persimilis. Wicked men are living ghosts, walking sepulchres of themselves. Bring them to Christ that they may be cured.
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.
Ver. 4. They uncovered the roof ] Which in those countries was flat, so that they might walk upon it, Deuteronomy 22:8 , preach upon it, Matthew 10:27 , &c.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Ver. 5. When he saw their faith ] By their works; as the goodness of the promised land was known by the grapes and fruits brought back by the spies. In all our good works, Christ’s eye is upon our faith, without which "it is impossible to please God."
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Ver. 6. But there were certain of the scribes ] Little do preachers know when they preach, what hearers sit before them. Araneo fel est, quod api mel. Some of our hearers carry fel in aure, as it is said of some creatures, they carry their gall in their ears.
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
Ver. 7. Who can forgive sins, &c. ] Man may remit the trespass, God only the transgression.
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Ver. 8. Perceived in his spirit ] That is, by his Deity, as 1 Timothy 3:16 ; Hebrews 9:14 . Or by his own spirit, as 1 Peter 3:18 , not by inspiration, as2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 1:21 .
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Ver. 9. See Trapp on " Mat 9:5 "
10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
Ver. 10. Hath power on earth ] Christus iure divino omnia faciebat, non iniusta aliqua virtute ac tyrannica. Christ did all in his Father’s right, and not of necessity.
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
Ver. 11. I say unto thee, Arise ] See here our Saviour’s letters testimonial, whereby he approves his authority and power to be authentic. "Ye are our epistle," saith the apostle, 1 Corinthians 3:2 .
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.
Ver. 12. We never saw it on this fashion ] Or thus, ουτως : Bullinger observeth of this evangelist, quod facum saecularis sapientiae et eloquentiae, rei per se alioqui splendidissimae, nusquam allevit, that he cares not to gild gold, or muddle over a topaz, but sets down things plainly without welt or guard of worldly wisdom or eloquence. Truth is like our first parents, most beautiful when naked.
13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
Ver. 13. And he taught them ] To teach us, that nothing can be better and more useful to the Church than wholesome teaching; which therefore our Saviour never neglected. It was grown to a proverb at Constantinople, Better the sun should not shine than Chrysostom not preach.
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.
Ver. 14. And as he passed by he saw Levi ] Our calling is of free grace, Ezekiel 16:6 ; Isaiah 65:1 . The scribes and Pharisees are let alone; and this publican called to the work.
And he arose and followed him ] Leaving his gainful trade, and following his own ignominy, ruin, death. Nihil hic disputat unde vivere debeat: faith fears no famine: Christ is a universal good, an "All in all."
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.
Ver. 15. Many publicans and sinners sat also ] All at Matthew’s charge, and he thought it well bestowed, to bring them to Christ. So Paul, being himself assured of salvation, could do or suffer anything for the salvation of his poor countrymen. Romans 8:38-39 ; cf. Romans 9:1-2 .
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?
Ver. 16. They said unto his disciples ] They dared not say it to him, where the hedge is lowest the beast breaks over. The devil, as the poet- quae desperat renitescere posse, relinquit. What he hopes not to effect, he never attempts. (Horat. de Arte Poet.)
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.
Ver. 17. He saith unto them ] Though not for their sakes (for he knew it was to no purpose) yet for his other hearers’ sakes, he makes apology, Jeremiah 3:14-15 . God often gives a pastor after his own heart, for a few that are to be converted.
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?
Ver. 18. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees ] Beza notes, that only here, and Matthew 22:16 ; Luke 5:24 , is mention made in the gospel of the Pharisees’ disciples, unhappy doubtless in such perverse tutors, somewhat akin to Protagoras, of whom Plato writeth (in Menone.) that he bragged of this, that whereas he had lived sixty years, he had spent forty of them in corrupting of youth.
19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Ver. 19. While the bridegroom is with them? ] Christ is mel in ore, melos iu aure, iubilum in corde. There cannot be but music in his temple.
20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Ver. 20. Then shall they fast ] Novices are not to be tied to the austerities of religion. The Pharisees are revived in the Anabaptists, qui initiatis Christo ne risum quidem mediocrem adraittunt, saith Calvin, in Matthew 9:15 . Capistranus the minorite, sent by the Pope into Germany and other countries, A. D. 1453, to preach obedience to the see of Rome, got a great deal of credit to his corrupt doctrine, by such a Pharisaical severity. Sed tales Doetores meretur mundus suo fastidio veritatis, saith one, they that will not receive the truth in love, are left to the efficacy of error. (Funccius in Chronolog.)
21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
Ver. 21. No man soweth ] See Trapp on " Mat 9:16 " See Trapp on " Mat 9:17 "
22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Ver. 22. See Trapp on " Mat 9:17 "
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.
Ver. 23. See Trapp on " Mat 12:1 "
24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
Ver. 24. See Trapp on " Mat 12:2 "
25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
Ver. 25. Have ye never read? ] Satis salse, q.d. Ignoratis adhuc, quod adeo notum et tritum. Miter ego vestram vel inscitiam, vel ignaviam. It is a shame for you, that you are yet so stupid or so stubborn.
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?
Ver. 26. And to them that, &c. ] Though meaner men than David.
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Ver. 27. The sabbath was made for man ] That is, for man’s safety and advantage. As he would be undone without it, he would grow wild, and forget God; so, if it stand in the way of his safety, it is not to be observed, as if an enemy then assault us, we may fight with him. Pompey could never have taken Jerusalem, but that the religious Jews refused to defend themselves on the sabbath; which when he observed, he then on that day most fiercely assaulted them, and took their city. (Dio Cassius.)
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Ver. 28. Therefore the Son of man ] This Lordship taking beginning in Christ, seems to be, from him, derived to all that are in Christ. As Psa 8:4-5 cf. Hebrews 2:6-7 . Whatever David speaks of man, is applied to Christ, and so is proper to the saints, by virtue of their union with Christ.
Is Lord also of the sabbath ] And can dispense with it. The schoolmen say that God can dispense with the materiality of any precept in the decalogue, the three first excepted.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Mark 2". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27