A few evening back our Bible reading for the day took us to Mark 2:1-12, the story of the paralyzed man whose friends, determined to get him into an already overcrowded house to see Jesus, took him pallet and all, to the roof where they removed enough of the rooftop so they could let him down through and into the house! Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” He knew the scribes were sitting there thinking to themselves, “Only God can forgive sins!” so he turned to them and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier to say to this man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to tell him, ‘Get up, pick up your bed and go’? But so you will know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” Jesus then returned to speaking to the young man, “Get up, pick up your pallet, and go home.” Later, in absorbing the story, the question came to my mind, if I were there, who would I be?
Let’s consider the characters in the story:
It doesn’t mention any women but since it does state they were in a home in Capernaum, it seems safe to assume that women were present. Would you have been a Mary staying nearby to hear each word of Jesus or a Martha busy being a good hostess?
Would you have been a small child holding the hand of a parent wondering exactly who this person was yet feeling such an attraction that you stood on tippy-toes somehow knowing you wanted to get close enough for Him to rest His hand on your head?
Maybe you would have been one of the friends who, upon seeing such a crowd, took it upon himself to make the decision for all to climb to the roof knowing once there, a way would be available to get to Jesus.
If you had been the home-owner, what would your feelings have been? Were you immediately up there on the roof asking, “What do you think you are doing?” or were you quick to help remove the clay tiles and branches to provide an opening?
Is it even remotely possible you would have been questioning, “Who does this man think he is, saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven’?” After all, those were just thoughts, not spoken aloud. And, only God could forgive sins!
That brings us to the paralytic man. Would you want to be in his shoes? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a one-on-one visit with Jesus as this man had, right in the middle of this throng of people?
Few of us would choose to be in a paralytic state, yet this young man had friends who loved him enough to see to his needs, to get him to where he had to be, at the feet of Jesus. Do we love our friends that much? Jesus saw the paralysis but took care of the man’s immediate need first, that of his soul, teaching a lesson to by-standers as He did so reminiscent of the way He later did at the gravesite of Lazarus in John 11:41b-42 "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."
Whose shoes would you want to be in? Until we are walking daily with Jesus we are in the state of the paralytic before he met Jesus; if we have followed the Gospel Call, we can be free of the paralysis of our sins, washed in His blood.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-11-09
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