Monday, October 7, 2013

Church musings: Mark 2:13-20

For the last two weeks, I've lost my church bulletin; this week, though, I remembered the scripture:  Mark 2: 13-20, which I've copied and pasted from Devotions.net:

13 Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them.   14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ 17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

The Question about Fasting

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ 19 Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

Here is King James:

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 
14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. 
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. 
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 
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. 
18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 
19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 
20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

The sermon wasn't all that interesting.  This had something to do with World Communion Day, but I forget what.  Something our pastor pointed out was that when Jesus went to Levi's house to sit "at meat" , what actually happened was that Levi "threw a party" and invited a bunch of sinners rather than the "quote-unquote good people."  Publicans and sinners, which, quite frankly, sound a helluva lot more fun.  We have a friend named Levi, and I told him via text this story.  Levi and his partner Zack throw fabulous parties, so I thought it was appropriate.  I told Levi:  "I'm not sure if the Biblical Levi threw a theme party, but I imagine he did."

According to The Interpreter's Bible, Levi was either "a collector of import and export duties on the highway that ran through Capernaum, or a tax officer of Herod Antipas."  This interpretation also had them eating at Jesus's own house, but the story if far more fun if Levi throws a party, right?



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