1 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!”
Perhaps the most amazing part of the healing of this paralyzed man is the faith of four friends who went to such great lengths for their infirmed loved one. I am not saying that the physical miracle Jesus performed was not the most miraculous; but only that bound together, these five, faith-filled friends collaborated on what seems like an insurmountable task.
Imagine the collective boldness it took for these believers to willingly disrupt Jesus’ teachings, breaking through someone’s roof, all to get close to the Human One. It happened because they were certain that Jesus is the Son of Man who would heal the broken among them. What a miraculous example of bold love and collective faith!
Isn’t it the miraculous nature of love to go to such bold lengths to care for a friend in need?
Jesus himself recognized the miraculous way of the friends’ faith. As revealed in Mark 2:5, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” He knew their faith together provided a collective miracle of love. But Jesus also went further. By defending their bold faith, he showed the miraculous love of the friends was stronger than any law or practice that could stop them from living out their faith.
When saying to the muttering experts, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions?” Jesus is revealing that bold, miraculous love for one another is the way to live out one’s faith.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
What miraculous love have you witnessed in your lifetime? How does God call you to be bold in your faith?
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for your miraculous love in our lives. Help us to live boldly in your name. Let us live the miraculous together within our Medford UMC community. Amen.