Mark 2:1-5 NRSVue
1When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door, and he was speaking the word to them. 3Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
The friends of the paralytic take endless trouble in looking for a cure. Instead Jesus seeks the cause of the paralysis, in some old hurt that binds up the man's strength. It is often our past that cripples us: guilt, unforgiven wrongs, rankling resentments.
You did not come, Lord, to judge me, but to seek what is lost, and to save me when my heart accuses me. Take me as I am here with all that sinful past of the world.
There is goodness and ingenuity in this scene. The four friends of the paralytic were ready to take enormous trouble over him, to make sure he had contact with Jesus. I can imagine the curiosity of the crowd as they see the sick man on his mat being lowered through the roof. I can imagine Jesus smiling, then surprising everyone by tackling the man's inner sickness. I can imagine the joy all round as the man obeys Jesus's word, picks up his mat and walks away on his own feet.
The man who was paralysed had to rely utterly on his friends to bring him to Jesus in the imaginative way they chose. I think of the trust he must have had in them and consider the trust I have in those close to me.
Despite the evident need of the man brought for healing, Jesus first told him of forgiveness. I listen to Jesus speak to me, forgiving my sins.