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Jesus Heals a Crippled Man

2 1A few days later, Jesus came back to Capernaum.* The news spread that Jesus was back home. 2Many, many people gathered to hear Jesus speak. The house was full. There was no place to stand, not even outside the door. Jesus was teaching these people. 3Some people brought a paralyzed (crippled) man to Jesus. Four men were carrying the paralyzed man. 4But they could not bring the man to Jesus because the house was full of people. So the men went to the roof above Jesus and made a hole in the roof. Then they lowered the bed with the paralyzed man on it. 5Jesus saw that these men had much faith. So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Young man, your sins are forgiven." 6Some of the teachers of the law were sitting there. They saw what Jesus did, and they said to themselves, 7"Why does this man say things like that? He is saying things that are against God. Only God can forgive sins." 8Jesus knew that these teachers of the law were thinking those things about him. So Jesus said to them, "Why do you have these questions in your minds? 9-10The Son of Man* has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say to the crippled man, 'Your sins are forgiven.' [No one could see if it really happened.] But what if I say to the man, 'Stand up. Take your bed and walk'? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power." So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 11"I tell you, stand up. Take your bed and go home." 12The paralyzed man stood up. He took his bed and walked out of the room. All the people could see him. The people were amazed and praised God. They said, "This is the most amazing thing we have ever seen!"

Levi (Matthew) Follows Jesus

13Jesus went to the lake again. Many people followed him there. So Jesus taught them. 14Jesus was walking beside the lake, and he saw a tax collector* named Levi, son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting in the tax office. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Then Levi stood up and followed Jesus. 15Later that day, Jesus ate at Levi's house. There were many tax collectors* and other bad people eating there with Jesus and his followers. There were many of these people that followed Jesus. 16The teachers of the law (they were Pharisees*) saw Jesus eating with these tax collectors and other bad people. They asked Jesus' followers, "Why does he (Jesus) eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 17Jesus heard this, and he said to them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners."

Jesus Not Like Other Religious Leaders

18The followers of John* and the Pharisees* were fasting.* Some people came to Jesus and said, "John's followers fast, and the followers of the Pharisees fast. But your followers don't fast. Why?" 19Jesus answered, "[When there is a wedding], the friends of the bridegroom* are not sad while he is with them. They cannot fast* (be sad) while the bridegroom is still there. 20But the time will come when the bridegroom will leave them. The friends are sad when the bridegroom leaves. Then they will fast. 21"When a person sews a patch over a hole on an old coat, that person never uses a piece of cloth that is not yet shrunk. If he does, the patch will [shrink and] pull away from the coat. Then the hole will be worse. 22Also, people never pour new wine into old wine bags.* Why? Because the new wine will break the bags, and the wine will be ruined with the wine bags. People always put new wine into new wine bags."

Some Jews Criticize Jesus

23On the Sabbath day,* Jesus was walking through some grain fields. Jesus' followers were walking with him. The followers picked some grain [to eat]. 24The Pharisees* saw this and said to Jesus, "Why are your followers doing that? It is against the [Jewish] law to do that on the Sabbath day." 25Jesus answered, "You have read what David* did when he and the people with him were hungry and needed food. 26It was during the time of Abiathar the high priest. David went into God's house and ate the bread that was offered to God. And the law [of Moses] says that only priests can eat that bread. David also gave some of the bread to those people with him." 27Then Jesus said to the Pharisees,*"The Sabbath day* was made to help people. People were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day. 28So the Son of Man* is Lord (master) of every day, even the Sabbath."

Capernaum A town in Galilee where Jesus taught. Son of Man A name Jesus used for himself. In Dan. 7:13-14, this is the name for the Messiah, the one God chose to save his people. tax collector(s) Jews hired by the Romans to collect taxes. They often cheated, and the other Jews hated them. Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. John John the Baptizer, who preached to the Jews about Christ's coming (See Mk. 1:4-8). fasting, fast To fast is to live without food for a time of prayer or mourning. bridegroom A man that is getting married. wine bags Animal skins used for holding wine. Sabbath day The seventh day of the Jewish week. It was a special religious day for the Jews. David King of Israel about 1000 years before Christ.

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