OceanSide church of Christ
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INITIAL OPPOSITION TO GOD’S SERVANT
Victor M. Eskew
A. The actions of Jesus in Mark 1 caused many individuals to take note of Him.
1. Mark 1:28
And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
2. In Mark 1:37, Jesus is told: All men seek for thee.
3. After the healing of the leper, Jesus could no more openly enter into the city (Mark 1:45).
B. With His popularity growing, it is not surprising to find opposition against Him growing as well.
1. In Mark 2, we read of four events in the Life of Christ. He is challenged by the Jewish leaders each time.
2. Each of the events follows a pattern:
a. An action sparks controversy.
b. There is the opposition by the Jewish leaders.
c. Jesus, then, corrects them.
d. In each account, there is a manifestation of the Servant of God.
C. We have entitled this chapter: “Initial Opposition to God’s Servant.”
I. FORGIVING SINS (Mark 2:1-12)
A. The Action
1. In Capernaum, Jesus entered into a house.
a. When it was noised where He was, many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as bout the door.
b. Four men carried a bed with one afflicted with palsy.
c. They broke up the roof and lowered the man before Jesus.
d. Jesus’ response (Mark 2:5)
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
e. With these words, Jesus drew the issue squarely. He was claiming to be divine.
B. The Opposition
1. The scribes heard Jesus’ words, and reasoned in their hearts (Mark 2:7).
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?
2. The scribes were correct in their doctrine. Only God can forgive sins.
3. The scribes were wrong in their application. They assumed Jesus was just a man. They failed to see that He was deity also.
C. The Correction
1. Jesus would offer them proof of his deity.
2. He would heal the man sick of palsy. This divine healing would prove the truthfulness of His words of forgiveness (Mark 2:10-12a).
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,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all.
D. The Manifestation: Jesus is deity. He is God. He has the ability to forgive sins. Those who accept and acknowledge His deity are taking steps necessary to receive the forgiveness of their sins (John 8:24).
I said therefore unto unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
II. EATING WITH PUBLICANS AND SINNERS (Mark 2:15-17)
A. The Action (Mark 2:15)
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.
B. The Opposition (Mark 2:16)
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
1. The Pharisees’ name means “separatists.”
2. They sought to keep themselves from everything sinful, at least on the outside. They would never been seen at a table with sinners.
3. The Pharisee’s prayer (Luke 18:11)
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
4. They equated any association with sinners as being partakers of their sins. Thus, they wondered how Jesus could eat and drink with such a disgusting lot.
C. The Correction (Mark 2:17)
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.
1. To heal, the physician must go to the sick.
2. Jesus’ mission was among those who were spiritually ill.
D. The Manifestation: Jesus is presented as the Great Physician.
1. Man is still sick with sin.
2. All need the Great Physician to heal their soul.
III. NO FASTING (Mark 2:18-22)
A. The Action: The disciples of Jesus did not fast as did the disciples of John and of the Pharisees.
B. The Opposition (Mark 2:18)
…Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
1. It is interesting that the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees were not friendly toward each other.
2. Yet, they wanted to know why Jesus disciples did not fast when they did.
3. Again, fasting was seen as a sign of spirituality: self-sacrifice, dependence on God, and an expression of grief and sorrow. The Pharisee of Luke 18 prided himself on having fasted twice each week (Luke 18:12).
C. The Correction (Mark 2:19-20)
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
1. Fasting was not a practice commanded by the Law of Moses.
2. Fasting grew out of occasions of sorrow, grief, and decision-making.
3. At this time, Jesus’ disciples had no reason to fast. The bridegroom, Jesus, was still with them.
D. The Manifestation: Jesus is portrayed as the Bridegroom.
1. NOTE: He has now gone away. We are eagerly anticipating His return.
2. Now there is a need for fasting. We sorrow, awaiting His coming (Mark 2:20).
But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
IV. WORKING ON THE SABBATH (Mark 2:23-28)
A. The Action (Mark 1:23)
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.
B. The Opposition (Mark 1:24)
And the Pharisees said unto him, Why do they on the Sabbath day that which is unlawful?
1. It was not unlawful to eat on the Sabbath day.
2. It was, however, unlawful to work (Exo. 20:8-11).
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.
3. The traditions of the Pharisees stated that picking an ear of corn was reaping and rubbing the grain was a kind of threshing.
C. The Correction (Mark 2:25-28)
1. The example of David (Mark 2:25-26; I Sam. 21:1-6)
a. This is one of the difficult texts of the Bible
b. The Question: Did David sin in eating the showbread? Or, did David exercise a higher law of mercy?
c. In either case, the Jews did not condemn the actions of David, yet they condemned Jesus who was not in violation of the Mosaic Law.
2. The position of Jesus (Mark 2:28)
Therefore the Son of man is the Lord also of the Sabbath.
D. The Manifestation: The Lord of the Sabbath
1. Jesus created the Sabbath.
2. He knew all the in’s and out’s of the Sabbath.
3. There is no way that He would violate the Sabbath (Heb. 4:15).
4. He knew all those who abused the Sabbath.
A. Opposition to Jesus was inevitable.
B. In each instance, the opposition caused an aspect of the Servant of God to shine forth.
1. He is deity.
2. He is the Great Physician.
3. He is the Bridegroom.
4. He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
C. Jesus occupies a position of preeminence.
1. We should acknowledge His deity.
2. We should seek Him as the Great Physician.
3. We can then wait for His return as the Bridegroom who will be seeking His precious bride, the church.