Why Not Just Be a Good Person?

Rowan Hilsden | Jan 24, 2021

Scripture: Mark 2:13-3:6

The Call of Levi

13 Jesus(A) went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching(B) them. 14 Then, passing by, he saw Levi(C) the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office,(D) and he said to him, “Follow me,”(E) and he got up and followed(F) him.

15 While he was reclining at the table in Levi’s house, many tax collectors(G) and sinners(H) were eating[a] with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who were following him. 16 When the scribes(I) who were Pharisees[b](J) saw that he was eating(K) with sinners(L) and tax collectors,(M) they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat[c] with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need(N) a doctor,(O) but those who are sick.(P) I didn’t come to call the righteous,(Q) but sinners.”(R)

A Question about Fasting

18 Now(S) John’s(T) disciples(U) and the Pharisees[d](V) were fasting.(W) People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom(X) is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time[e] will come(Y) when the groom will be taken away from them,(Z) and then they will fast(AA) on that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth,(AB) and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine(AC) into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst(AD) the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.”

Lord of the Sabbath

23 On(AE) the Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and his disciples(AF) began to make their way, picking some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees(AG) said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful(AH) on the Sabbath?”

25 He said to them, “Have you never read what David(AI) and those who were with him did when he was in need(AJ) and hungry(AK) 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar(AL) the high priest(AM) and ate the bread of the Presence(AN) —which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests(AO) —and also gave some to his companions?” 27 Then he told them, “The Sabbath was made for[f] man and not man for the Sabbath.(AP) 28 So then, the Son of Man(AQ) is Lord(AR) even of the Sabbath.”(AS)

Jesus(AT) entered the synagogue(AU) again, and a man was there who had a shriveled(AV) hand. In order to accuse(AW) him, they were watching him closely(AX) to see whether he would heal(AY) him on the Sabbath.(AZ) He told the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful(BA) to do good(BB) on the Sabbath or to do evil,(BC) to save life(BD) or to kill?”(BE) But they were silent.(BF) After looking around at them with anger,(BG) he was grieved at the hardness(BH) of their hearts and told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.(BI) Immediately the Pharisees(BJ) went out and started plotting(BK) with the Herodians(BL) against him, how they might kill(BM) him.


  1. 2:15 Lit reclining together
  2. 2:16 Other mss read scribes and Pharisees
  3. 2:16 Other mss add and drink
  4. 2:18 Other mss read The disciples of John and of the Pharisees
  5. 2:20 Or the days
  6. 2:27 Or because of

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