Read: Mark 2:1-12
As Jesus continues to minister in the area in and around Galilee many are healed, amazed, in awe, and filled with wonder. At the same time, questions begin to arise, accusations raised, authority is challenged. From a high-level perspective it’s great to see Jesus wading into the throngs of people, moving without restraint, breaking social rules without a concern–not for the sake of being noticed, rather, Jesus demonstrates his love and compassion for all kinds of people. We should learn from this example.
My plan was to fly through these two chapters, but I’m stuck, the stories are too compelling. I guess I’ll just leave the overview here as a kind of outline for the next few days and see where that goes!
- Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man: Mark 2:1-12
- Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners: Mark 2:13-17
- Jesus Questioned About Fasting: Mark 2:18-22
- Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath: Mark 2:23-28
- Jesus Heals on the Sabbath: Mark 3:1-6
- Crowds Follow Jesus: Mark 3:7-12
- Jesus Appoints the Twelve: Mark 3:13-19
- Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law: Mark 3:20-35
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
Trouble begins when Jesus does something amazing. As a kid, reenacting the scene where Jesus heals a paralyzed man that was dropped down from the roof of a house was a lot of fun. I remember in later years how difficult it was to actually lift someone with four ropes on the corners of a stretcher — try it, it’s not easy — let alone carrying all of these parts to a roof and safely lowering the guy to the ground. There are so many parts to this story to focus on!
The huge crowd gathers to hear teaching like never before. They were hungry to learn from Jesus when this guy gets dropped down from the roof. When I think about the event, I have to smile. We get caught up on Sunday morning with any minor distraction, yet here’s this group ripping a hole in the roof, dirt falling, pieces of material had to be dropping around Jesus as they lowered him. Some people were no doubt offended that this distraction was preventing them from hearing. After all, the world revolves around each of us, right?
Jesus waits for the crowd to calm down, then without hesitation, the man is healed. The man. Not the baby, or little child. This guy is known in the community, he’s the crippled dude that’s been overlooked by many. Before their very eyes:
He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:12
Mind blown. This is the real thing, yet immediately the teachers of the law are confused. The main problem I have with their reaction is there lack of desire to learn anything from Jesus. Their questions are not meant to find understanding, they are meant to criticize.
How many times do we hear a message and immediately switch into critical high-gear? Are we trying to learn? Or are we trying to gather evidence to defend our position? I know these are loaded questions. I’m guilty as much as anyone. So here’s my simple prayer:
Lord, help me to listen better,
to learn more and
to do everything surrounded by love.
Not too profound. The day the paralyzed man was healed, my guess is that there were five new believers in Christ, four that lowered him plus the man himself. I don’t know if they started a house church that week or if they helped to lead others to Jesus, but I suspect they did something! Isn’t this the driving theme in Mark’s Gospel? Do. Something.