Mark 2:9-19 (New Century Version)

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9 Which is easier: to tell this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to tell him, 'Stand up. Take your mat and walk'? 10 But I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 11 "I tell you, stand up, take your mat, and go home." 12 Immediately the paralyzed man stood up, took his mat, and walked out while everyone was watching him. The people were amazed and praised God. They said, "We have never seen anything like this!" 13 Jesus went to the lake again. The whole crowd followed him there, and he taught them. 14 While he was walking along, he saw a man named Levi son of Alphaeus, sitting in the tax collector's booth. Jesus said to him, "Follow me," and he stood up and followed Jesus. 15 Later, as Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating there with Jesus and his followers. Many people like this followed Jesus. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with the tax collectors and "sinners," they asked his followers, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 17 Jesus heard this and said to them, "It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. I did not come to invite good people but to invite sinners." 18 Now the followers of Johnn and the Pharisees often gave up eating for a certain time. Some people came to Jesus and said, "Why do John's followers and the followers of the Pharisees often give up eating, but your followers don't?" 19 Jesus answered, "The friends of the bridegroom do not give up eating while the bridegroom is still with them. As long as the bridegroom is with them, they cannot give up eating.
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