Class Notes: 7/28/2013

Mark 2:14;-Mark 2:18; Jesus finds that the tax collectors and sinners have positive volition to His Word

In our study of Mark we are in Mark 2:14; where Jesus calls Levi aka Matthew who is a tax collector to be one of his disciples. We saw that tax collectors were outcasts from society because the religious leadership didn't approve of their work.

Jesus however, is only interested in positive volition. He isn't concerned about what kinds of sins people are involved in because He is the resolution of the sin problem for all mankind. He has come to make it possible for everyone to be saved and to save those who will respond to Him. 1Tim 4:10;b

Matthew was ostracized by society but accepted by God so in response he throws a big party at his house for his friends because they would not be accepted in any other place.

Mark 2:15; So Jesus was at Matthew's home reclining at the table dining (Net note 27) where He was joined by many "tax collectors and sinners" who followed him. Jesus was reclined in formal Roman style at the dinner party.

He leaned on one elbow and ate from a reclining position. The imperfect tense of Greek word says, that "he kept on reclining at the table." "And many tax collectors and their girlfriends (sinners) kept on reclining with Jesus and his disciples at the table because there were many of them following Him.

Mark 2:16; And when the scribes of the Pharisees saw it (these are the teachers of the Law Net notes 30 and 31); "they said." The imperfect tense says they kept on saying or they kept on speaking or harassing his disciples about it, "Why does your Master keep on eating with tax collectors and prostitutes?" Net note 32.

That Jesus would share a meal with such people offended the Pharisees, who were careful never to risk ritual uncleanness by associating with any "unclean" person or thing.

Jesus however was not politically correct. In fact we will see that he goes out of the way to violate the evil Rabbinical rules that they had added in their attempt to keep the Mosaic Law.

The Jews' "Rabbinical law" had added to the Mosaic Law ( Lev 7:21) and made rules that no one was to have a meal with a tax collector or a prostitute and in the view of the pharisees their rules carried as much weight as the Mosaic Law because of the influence of the legalism of religion. But Jesus had no use for the Rabbinical Law because it was evil.

Jesus therefore completely disregarded their politically correct rules and went to whoever had positive volition to Him and his Word regardless of their social status. The scribes and the Pharisees were the religious people and they were upset and angry because Jesus kept on violating their manmade rules for ritual "holiness."

They criticized Jesus for failing to observe the legalistic distinction that they had made between "the righteous" (they themselves) and "the sinners" ( the tax collectors and prostitutes).

Mark 2:17; When Jesus hears this, "He says to them, Those who are healthy don't' need a physician, but those who are sick do." Net note 33 " I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."

This is a proverb that means that a doctor goes to the sick, not to those who are well. By saying his Jesus indicates that as a spiritual doctor He was going to those who needed His message and who will respond to His message.

Of course the scribes and Pharisees were just as sick if not sicker but in their misguided self-righteous arrogance they refused to recognize it.

Jesus had come to bring the message of grace to sinners who under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit recognized their need, rather than to those who were blaspheming God the Holy Spirit who was convicting them (Mark 3:29;) and thinking they were already good enough for God.

Actually, there are none who are righteous (Rom 3:10;), but there were many who arrogantly pride themselves as having a righteousness that they really do not have. 2Tim 3:5;

Because of His Holiness, God cannot bless arrogant unbelieving people. John 3:36; The only the ones who find mercy and receive blessing from God are those who in humility believe in Jesus as the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. John 3:16;

Mark 2:18; In this passage we have the subtle opposition of legalistic believers who are in accord with religious unbelievers. John's disciples are believers, and while Jesus and His disciples were feasting at Matthew's house John's disciples were fasting and in the process had joined the unbelieving religious Pharisees.

To them fasting was apparently an indication of "spirituality". They thought that there was some spiritual merit in fasting, but there isn't. Fasting is legalism and when you criticize and judge others who don't fast in the same way that you do it is a sin. Matt 7:1;

Fasting can be legitimate when it is a private time that involves the principle of spending time that would normally be spent eating in study of the Word and prayer. But it is the study of the Word and prayer that is profitable, not the fasting.

John's disciples are believers and they have the gall to criticize the Lord Jesus Christ. "Why do the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast but your disciples don't?" " In this situation the disciples of John the baptizer who are believers are linked with the Pharisees who are legalistic unbelievers because of their legalism.

This criticism comes on the day after Jesus and His disciples had attended the party at Matthew's house. This is subtle indirect criticism regarding their attending the party with people who were social outcasts.

Legalism always puts the believer in direct opposition to Jesus Christ and grace. Legalism causes the believer to imitate the unbeliever's religion. Legalism causes the believer to be linked with the unbeliever as in "we and the Pharisees." Legalism is evil.

They were fasting with the religious people rather than out partying with Jesus the previous evening and now they have the gall to criticize Jesus about it.

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