Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mark 2:1-12

After a few days, Jesus went back to Capernaum, and people heard that he was at home. 2 So many gathered that there was no longer space, not even near the door. Jesus was speaking the word to them. 3 Some people arrived, and four of them were bringing to him a man who was paralyzed. 4 They couldn’t carry him through the crowd, so they tore off part of the roof above where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they lowered the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven!”

6 Some legal experts were sitting there, muttering among themselves, 7 “Why does he speak this way? He’s insulting God. Only the one God can forgive sins.”

8 Jesus immediately recognized what they were discussing, and he said to them, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? 9 Which is easier—to say to a paralyzed person, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk’? 10 But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, 11 “Get up, take your mat, and go home.”

12 Jesus raised him up, and right away he picked up his mat and walked out in front of everybody. They were all amazed and praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum. When people heard that he was home, they showed up and packed themselves like sardines into the house. No one could get in or out the door -- and Jesus was really preaching the word to them.

While he was speaking, four guys showed up carrying a paralyzed buddy. But since they couldn't get in through the crowd to see Jesus, they climbed up onto the roof and tore a hole above him. Then they lowered the paralyzed man, who was lying on a mat, through the hole in the roof down to Jesus.

Recognizing the incredible faith of the men, Jesus said to the paraplegic, "Son, your sins are forgiven!"

That phrase -- "your sins are forgiven" -- set off the knit-picking legal experts who had taken up prestigious seats in the house -- while most people were standing. They started muttering, "Who does he think he is, dishonoring God like this? Talk about presumptuous! There is only one God and only he can forgive sins."

Jesus immediately tuned into their conversation and started talking directly to them. "Why do you trolls choose to overlook the great thing that has happened here so you can manufacture insincere know-it-all questions? What's easier -- telling a paraplegic that his sins are forgiven or saying, 'Get up off your mat and walk?'  But to make my point -- which is that I, THE Human One have the authority to forgive sins -- even on earth...'” He turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Get up, roll up that mat, and walk home."

Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up. Without hesitation the man grabbed his mat and walked out of the house. Everyone there saw it happen.

At first the people were stunned speechless but suddenly someone broke out singing the doxology. As they talked among themselves afterward people kept saying, "This is incredible. I've never seen anything like it."