Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lenten Devotionals - Mark 2:1-13


One chapter down! Woot! Now on to chapter two, which has...more healing. I had never realized before how much healing there is in the book of Mark. The past few days have been very healing-centric. Anyway, just one healing today--healing the paralytic that was brought down through the roof, which I definitely remember playing in Sunday school as a kid (we stood on chairs and held someone by their wrists and ankles. In retrospect, this was not a very safe object lesson).

We call the people who brought the paralytic friends, but I don't see that word in this passage. I guess it could be seen as one of two ways--people who really wanted to see a miracle (reminiscent of Pharisees), or some people who wanted their friend healed. If they were friends, these are clearly good friends. Given the stigma back then with diseases and the like (which made a bit of sense in terms of trying to not get leprosy or whatnot), these would have to be VERY good friends to still associate with this guy. I wonder how the paralysis would have occurred. Probably not born with it, because I think they would have left the baby to die back in those days. Must have been a disease, or an accident...probably more likely an accident, if he still has friends.

But could it have been a ruse to see what Jesus could do? Nothing's mentioned about that, so maybe I'm reading into things too much. Perhaps it was, a tiny bit. Perhaps it was, even if they were friends. People wanted to see if Jesus could really heal someone. Healing a fever strikes me as much easier than healing paralysis, especially since you would need to heal several things with paralysis--muscle atrophy, muscle memory so someone can walk, and all of that. A hot flash can come and go. I could see how a Pharisee-type person would want to challenge Jesus.

And speaking of Pharisees, this is the first time that Jesus is challenged, even though it isn't an outwards challenge. I don't know if I understand the reasoning here, though...I mean, I can heal a person or forgive sins, so they both seem equally difficult to me. But I guess there are people who can heal (the disciples later, for example), but only one person/entity/God can forgive sins. Alright, so Jesus wins that one.


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