Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
Friends today I like to highlight some thoughts from the text using the following phrases for our bible study.
“Paralyzed Man” - The divinity and humanity of Jesus is inseparable. His compassion was enacted in different forms to heal the society. Healing the paralyzed man is one such act of compassion and tells us a motif behind it. More than the magical display of Jesus the moral theme in this pericope spins the odds out of human life. I invite you to imagine this physically changed man as a society is crippled with many negatives. We cannot deny the presence of derogatory division and discrimination in society which has paralyzed the normal life what God as complemented to the life in general. The abuse of resources and the lack of proximity to the resources is the ill effect of the polluted and the insane mind of the dominant society and mindsets. However here, the and voices and the works of Jesus emphasize the importance of resolving it as a call of God. While celebrating the miraculous power of Jesus one should also remember that these acts are performed to communicate the truth, to restore the dignified and blessed life in every individual and society.
Here we can see two kinds of people, the people who brought this man to Jesus and the other the teachers of the law. While elaborating it we can define them as:
1. Who wants to resolve the issue. Genuine people always think about others. They are passionate towards the suffering and the suffering communities. They display a quality stewardship to the needy and the disabled. They like to serve, because the love of God compels them to do so. They attempt even the human impossibilities with the faculty of faith. Some men brought this physically challenged man to Jesus because this man’s problem was not addressed properly for a long time. They were courageous to address the problem and attempted to resolve it by bringing it to Jesus.
2. Who worried about their “own authority” instead of resolutions. The second group of people were so concerned about themselves and their role in resolving instead of man’s healing. They were so cheap in putting themselves in an impossible act of healing. Instead of introspecting their call they started to question the young Jesus and his words. Their intentions were crippled by their own understanding, because they were alienated from hope and God. The new teaching of Jesus and his offering of new life dissipated them from their own understandings about life and humans. The proposals for change irritated them because they lacked vision with God for life. They strongly believed in God who santiones hierarchy and supremacy. They failed to understand the inclusive power of God who offers new life in Christ to all. They were very narrow and were mundane in their thinking and entertained evil instead of Good.
Authority of Jesus
The text clearly says how Jesus offered a holistic healing to this man. The authority of God helps people to understand themselves and help them to resolve their own issues. Every human being has the capacity of God to celebrate life in its fullness. The vicious human agency and its uncanny dominant nature spins the harmony board into misery and fails to display the design of God. Jesus was keen displaying his authority in healing the wounded by his words and deeds. He offered a new life. He said “Get up, take your mat and go home” is a powerful phrase because it has a deep theological motif. His words of absolution gave hope to the hopeless man and empowered him to handle his own problems. ‘Mat’- is a sign of a long-term problem and Jesus asked him to take up his own problem and walk with it with the power of God. When God is with us, we can handle any situation with faith.
God Bless These Words, Amen!