After some days He entered Capernaum again, and it soon became known that He was at home;
and such numbers of people came together that there was no longer room for them even round the door. He was speaking His Message to them,
when there came a party of people bringing a paralytic--four men carrying him.
Finding themselves unable, however, to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they untiled the roof just over His head, and after clearing an opening they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are pardoned."
Now there were some of the Scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts.
"Why does this man use such words?" they said; "he is blaspheming. Who can pardon sins but One--that is, God?"
At once perceiving by His spirit that they were reasoning within themselves, Jesus asked them, "Why do you thus argue in your minds?
Which is easier?--to say to this paralytic, `Your sins are pardoned,' or to say, `Rise, take up your mat, and walk?'
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins" --He turned to the paralytic, and said,
"To you I say, `Rise, take up your mat and go home.'"
The man rose, and immediately under the eyes of all took up his mat and went out, so that they were all filled with astonishment, gave the glory to God, and said, "We never saw anything like this."
Again He went out to the shore of the Lake, and the whole multitude kept coming to Him, and He taught them.
And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the Toll Office, and said to him, "Follow me." So he rose and followed Him.
When He was sitting at table in Levi's house, a large number of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners were at table with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many such who habitually followed Him.
But when the Scribes of the Pharisee sect saw Him eating with the sinners and the tax-gatherers, they said to His disciples, "He is eating and drinking with the tax-gatherers and sinners!"
Jesus heard the words, and He said, "It is not the healthy who require a doctor, but the sick: I did not come to appeal to the righteous, but to sinners."
(Now John's disciples and those of the Pharisees were keeping a fast.) And they came and asked Him, "How is it that John's disciples and those of the Pharisees are fasting, and yours are not?"
"Can a wedding party fast while the bridegroom is among them?" replied Jesus. "So long as they have the bridegroom with them, fasting is impossible.
But a time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.
No one mends an old garment with a piece of unshrunk cloth. Otherwise, the patch put on would tear away from it--the new from the old--and a worse hole would be made.
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the wine would burst the skins, and both wine and skins would be lost. New wine needs fresh skins!"
One Sabbath He was walking through the wheatfields when His disciples began to pluck the ears of wheat as they went.
So the Pharisees said to Him, "Look! why are they doing what on the Sabbath is unlawful?"
"Have you never read," Jesus replied, "what David did when the necessity arose and he and his men were hungry:
how he entered the house of God in the High-priesthood of Abiathar, and ate the Presented Loaves--which none but the priests are allowed to eat--and gave some to his men also?"
And Jesus said to them: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath;
so that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."