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The main theme of these chapters are conflict. As Jesus begins his ministry, people are constantly misunderstanding him and therefore they take great offense. For example, in chapter two conflict surrounds three issues: theology (forgiving sins), sociology (eating with tax collectors), and tradition (fasting and Sabbath rules). Let me give you some example of what I am talking about.
From a theological point of view, it was a maxim of Jesus’ day that God could only forgive sin. Therefore, when Jesus claimed to forgive sins (the story of the paralytic man), the shock of the audience is to be expected.
From a s sociological point of view, tax collectors were one of the most hated people of Jesus’ day. They were traitors, who were in bed with the Romans. Therefore, when Jesus not only calls Levi (a tax collector), but also eats with him, the people cannot take this well.
In chapter 3, Jesus’ ministry expands and conflict also grows apace. Some of this conflict is expected, but some of the tension comes from unlikely places such as Jesus’ own family. His family says that he is out of his mind and the religious leaders accuse him of being demon possessed.
In chapter 4, we read about the parable of the seeds. There is a slight change of direction, but from a thematic point of view, his parable confuse people and the tension escalate through this point.
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