In Chapter 2, Jesus demonstrates what living in the Kingdom could be like. He talks about real world situations and experience rather than using puzzling parables. I love this about Mark and Peter. Short immediate and right on target.
First in the story of the Paralytic man and his roof wrecking friends, Jesus recognises the faith demonstrated by the effort of friends. Sometimes it is worth putting real effort into living in the Kingdom.
Jesus called Levi the tax collector, and later in the evening He dined with a houseful of sinners. The famous line, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Isn’t it great that we don’t have to be perfect to join in with Jesus.
Responding to a dig or two about the bad behaviour of the disciples, Jesus starts talking about the old way of thinking and living will not be able to “get” the new thing. The new patch on the old garment, the new wine in the old wineskins. When we take on board the awesomeness of the Kingdom we must bring a new attitude and fresh expectations. Unless you are made new, just like a young trusting child, then trying to make your old assumptions and habits fit Jesus will not go well.
Then they had a go at the disciples for eating grain as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. Harvesting was against the religious law against working on the Lords Day. Jesus reminds them that the Sabbath was created for man not man for the Sabbath. Finally Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath”. This claim of authority over the Sabbath is huge. The Pharisees have no framework to deal with Jesus without abandoning their safety net of rules and process and immediately start to plot Jesus’ death.
My question, to me, is. I believe and know that the Kingdom is here, now, today, then how am I getting on with living up to these examples:
- Do I keep pushing through, am I still putting effort into it?
- Am I OK with everybody including me being imperfect?
- The Old Way can not contain the New, am I carrying the Old too long?
- Am I still hung up on rules? How am I going on getting my heart right?