Jesus heals a paralytic, calls a disciple and answers questions
- How do you think the homeowner felt about having a hole made in his roof?
- Did Jesus abolish the Sabbath, or give his interpretation of the Law?
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Going Deeper – from 'Words of Life'
Mark presses fast-forward to the next incident he wants to describe. Jesus is back in Capernaum, probably at Peter’s house. No social posting announces that he is ‘at home and receiving visitors’. But word spreads and invited or not, immediately people crowd into the house. Jesus teaches the Word in an everyday way.
Meanwhile there are too many people and no disabled entrance for four latecomers with a paralysed friend. They aren’t deterred. Like rushing water meeting resistance, they and their charge flow up and over the obstacle to reach their goal. Jesus is impressed by the faith of the five and goes beyond their obvious expectations and forgives the paralytic.
The scribes with prime seats in the standing-room-only crowd are shocked. What a nerve of Jesus to offer forgiveness! Who does he think he is – God? Instantly Jesus knows their objections and counters them with a question that bewilders them: which is easier, to forgive or heal? Neither.
Yet when Jesus does both, the harder first, and the man walks away in plain sight a restored person, it refutes the scribes’ protests and amazes all. In this case, physical healing validates spiritual pardon. Luke 5:16 says that all marvel at the strange things or paradoxes of that day. In Mark they give God glory (v 12).
Surprising events continue as Jesus walks along the lakeside, notices and calls a publican from his toll booth to be his follower. Instead of collecting for the king, Matthew would collect human treasure for the King. Jesus’ call to Matthew seems sudden, but he is ready to respond at once and not miss his opportunity.
This time it’s the Pharisees who cluck about Jesus. Why does he associate with sinners? They mean the common, untaught, less observant Jews instead of righteous separatists such as themselves. Jesus knows their hearts and counters that he has not come to call the ‘righteous’, but sinners.
Would anyone wonder about my associations for Jesus’ sake?