Gospel According to Mark. Day 8

Day 2: Chapter 2 Jesus Heals a Paralytic

2 And when he returned to Caper′na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And 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 pallet on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? 10 But 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, take up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Jesus heals the Paralytic, Illustration by Harold Copping (1863-1932), Printed biblical illustration, Published in 1910

Things to notice:

We can already see the growing tension between Jesus and the scribes. By forgiving the sins of the man, Jesus is clearly showing  that he is more than another prophet. By healing the man he shows that he really can forgive sins, and not just say so. The scribes are rightfully suspicious when he forgives the sins: this is something only God can do. However, their indignation does not let them see what simpler people see: that Jesus does have an authority to do what he does. 

Who were the scribes? 

In the New-Testament period the scribes were the professional interpreters of the Law in the Jewish synagogues. As a group, they  started as pious men really trying to understand the law. However, with time the character of the scribes and their activities underwent a marked change. They neglected the deeper and more spiritual aspects of the Law, and from being men of sacred letters they became mainly jurists who devoted most of their attention to mere quibbles. Together with the Pharisees they are represented in the Gospels as being very ambitious of honor and as making void the weightier precepts of the Law by their perverse interpretations by means of which they had gradually laid a most heavy burden upon the people. They are also rebuked by Christ because of the undue importance ascribed by them to the "traditions of the elders". You can learn more  here

Meditation

1. This fragment teaches us the importance of praying for others, of bringing them to Jesus

2. Do I remember the necessity to ask for forgiveness of my soul? We should take good care of our body (healthy food, enough sleep and exercise), our minds (education), but we also should not forget about our souls! How do we take care of our souls: reading the Bible, paying attention to Sunday homilies, but also – healing our soul through confession. We all have sinned, but frequent confession will make our souls grow healthier.

 Previous    Next