A few days later, when Jesus returned to Capernaum, people heard that he was again at home. Soon, so many people had swarmed the house that there was no room, even outside the door, while Jesus spoke the word of God to them. Then, four men arrived carrying a disabled man, but they couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd. So they went up and tore a hole in the roof over the spot where Jesus was, and then lowered their friend on his mat. Jesus could see their faith, so he said to the man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Now, some teachers of the law were present, and they thought to themselves, “Why would he say such a thing? It’s an insult to God! No one can forgive sins but God alone!” But Jesus knew that they were thinking this way, so he said to them, “Why are you thinking those thoughts? Which is easier for me to say to this man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? Well, now you’ll see that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth.” And Jesus said to the disabled man, “Listen: get up, take your mat, and return to your home.” And the man got up, picked up his mat and walked out of the house in full view of them all. Everyone lost their minds, shouting praises to God and saying to one another, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”
Jesus went out again by the seashore, where many people came out to him and he taught them there. Later, Jesus was passing by the customs office and saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting there. Jesus said, “Follow me,” so he got up and followed him.
Levi invited him to his house, where many tax-collectors and other social outcasts sat with Jesus and all of his apprentices (there were a lot of people who followed him). But when some law teachers from the Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with tax-collectors and outcasts, they said to his apprentices, “Why is he eating with tax collectors and other immoral people?” But Jesus heard this and said to them, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I haven’t come to surround myself with those who have it all together, but those who don’t.”
Now, both John’s apprentices and the Pharisees would fast regularly. So some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why do the apprentices of John and the Pharisees fast, but yours don’t?” Jesus replied, “Would groomsmen fast during a wedding? No, it is a time for joy! As long as they have the groom with them, they wouldn’t fast. But the time is soon coming when the groom will be taken from them; on that day, they will start to fast.”
“No one would sew a patch of new, unshrunk cloth onto old clothes. Otherwise, the new cloth will shrink and pull away from the old cloth, and the tear becomes worse. And no one would put fresh wine into used leather wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst through, and both wine and skin are ruined. Rather, new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
On the following Saturday, Jesus was passing through a grain field. And as they made their way through, his apprentices began to pluck heads of grain to eat. But some Pharisees said to him, “Look! Why do you let them break the law by harvesting on the day of rest?” Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read what David and his men did when they were hungry and desperate? In the time of Abiathar the high priest, David entered the house of God and ate the sacred bread—which only the priests are allowed to eat—and he also gave it to his men.” And then Jesus said to them, “The day of rest exists to serve humankind, not the other way around. So you see, the Son of Man is also the lord over the day of rest.”