Note: This Post is part of the series “Studies in Mark” see the Series Index for other posts in this series.
1And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”— Mark 2:1 – 12 (ESV)
I want to point something out here that has been under emphasized my entire generation. God adds to the church ‘those who are being saved’. That’s from Acts 2 where Luke talks about the how the members of the church related to one another and how they dedicated themselves to the word of the Lord. God adds. Not a church program, not a great sermon, not adequate parking or educational facilities. God adds.
And we as believers always have the Holy Spirit indwelling us to illuminate the word of God. For hundreds of years before Jesus began preaching, there was nothing. There were no prophets, there was no one to give a word from the Lord. There was a famine in the land for the word of the Lord of the variety that we could never understand. (Not even today where it’s still kind of thin in places) Remember the synagogue we talked about a few days ago? Remember how amazed the people were about the authority with which Jesus taught? No one alive (or dead probably) had ever heard the word of God preached like this. No one in living memory knew what a sermon was supposed to sound like. I get the impression that they mostly just read and recopied the OT books they had. There was no illumination, no sitting down for a bible study, no morning quiet time…just a desperate waiting for the Christ to appear.
This is why we find Jesus at home in a house packed with people on a street packed with people in a city full of people who are all dying to hear the word of the Lord. Notice again how people will do just about anything to hear the word of God preached? The faithful friends in v.3 bring a paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed—and not only does he heal him, he forgives him of his sins. First things first, OK? Let’s not freak out here. Jesus was always healing people but there was always a reason: to glorify the Father. It’s great that he healed them man and even better that he forgave him but I think what this points to is more important.
Both the forgiving and the healing had that purpose in mind: the Glory of God the Father.