Mark Has Some Good News, Part 7, What You Do When They Won't Shut Up
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 "Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he said to the paralytic— 11 "I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home." 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
Jesus Calls Levi
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
In sales I've learned a simple way to qualify a potential customer. You use what's called a "no reject" or "no negative" close. It's the remark at the end of a salesman's pitch that asks you for one of two positive answers concerning the sale. Like "would you like to get us to estimate your project or can I interest you in another sample from our selection". Both answers help the sale but if the customer isn't interested in the product and is just trying to muscle a good deal out of you, then it qualifies them as either a customer or a shopper.
And before you start the nasty email I'm not comparing Jesus to a pushy salesman. I am however saying there is a time and place to qualify people. To see where their cards are. To find out if their interested in reality or their own fabrication. Are they there to but what Jesus was giving away or were they there to get what they thought was best.
And Jesus doesn't budge but rather points out their need (for God) and shows them their ignorance like a know it all trying to correct a professional, and they shut up like you should when God proves you wrong and people do what? Glorify God.
So as a former pastor I have to ask the question. Should we be qualifying our opposition. You see if I'm out of line I know and the bible teaches and insists that biblical elders and leadership should keep me in line. Correct my theology and tell me what's what.
But what if that same system has a few Pharisees in it. Is it right to ask what would Jesus do? Because here we see him verbally slam some would be righteous teachers with real honest truth. He asked them about what they thought was most important and then stacked that up against perfection and holiness.
Is it wrong to ask a person or a group stuck on a tradition to listen to reason, reality or fact? How about history or dare I say it scripture?