JESUS' AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS
Key verse 2:10
* JESUS HEALS A PARALYTIC (1-12)
1. Where had Jesus been, and what had he been doing just before? When people heard that he had returned to Capernaum, what was their response? What did they want? How did he minister to them?
2. When four men carrying a paralytic to Jesus could not get through the crowd, what did they do? Why might this have upset some people? What did Jesus think about their action?
3. What did they believe? How did they demonstrate their faith? What is exemplary about their friendship? What other teachings or examples of friendship can you find in the Bible? (1 Sam.20: 16,42; 2 Sam.1:26; John 15:13)
4. What did Jesus say to the paralytic? What does it mean that he called him "son"? What do Jesus' words suggest about the man's real problem? How is paralysis like sin? In what respect might he be called a sinner?
5. What did the teachers of the law think about Jesus' words? Why? What did Jesus decide to do in this hostile environment? What did he teach them about himself? How did the people respond?
* THE CALLING OF LEVI (13-17)
6. What was Levi's business? What did this mean in that society? Why might a tax collector in that society be called selfish? Why might he be lonely?
7. How did Jesus meet him? What did Jesus say to him, and how did he respond? What did Jesus' words "follow me" mean to him? Why might Levi have followed so readily? Why would Jesus call a man like Levi?
8. How did Levi celebrate his new life? Why did the Pharisees criticize him? How did Jesus answer? What does this mean?
* NEW WINE INTO NEW WINESKINS (18-22)
9. Why did some people criticize Jesus' disciples? How did Jesus answer? What does it mean that Jesus is the bridegroom?
l0. What other illustrations does Jesus give to describe the gospel work? How is a disciple of Jesus like new wine and a new patch? How are Pharisees like old wineskins? What does Jesus teach us here?