Jesus Meets His Critics

Mark 2:1-12

Parallel Texts: Matthew 9:2-8; Luke 5:17-26

In this passage, Jesus has returned to Capernaum from His Kingdom Tour, and the people are excited to have Him back in town. During this period, Capernaum is His ‘home base’. As the crowd grew with the usual curious listeners, sick and damaged people, it became impossible for everyone to gain entry into the house where Jesus was staying as He preached, and a very enterprising group of men climbed up to the roof, bringing a paralyzed man on a stretcher with them. They opened the roof door which was a common feature in those flat-roofed houses, and lowered the paralyzed man into the room where Jesus was teaching.

When Jesus saw this, He went over to the man on the stretcher and told him that his sins were forgiven.

There was a group of teachers of the law in the room, who may have come from Jerusalem to investigate the report that had reached the city about the Kingdom Tour, and these guys were pretty amazed at what they saw. It occurred to them that Jesus had just made a mistake in telling the unfortunate man his sins were forgiven, because only God can forgive sins: Blasphemy… Gotcha!

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Mark 2:8-12

I love this part! Jesus, knowing their thoughts goes over to these guys and asks a question: So boys, what’s easier, to tell this guy his sins are forgiven, or to tell him to get up, pick up his mat and walk?

Who says Jesus had no sense of humor?

Then, He went back to the paralyzed man and told him to get up, take his mat and walk… and that’s just what the guy did!

I can just imagine what those old boys from Jerusalem thought then… hilarious! Boy, did they have a report for the bigwigs back home.

Of course everyone was amazed at what they had witnessed, but I wonder if they fully comprehended the scene. Right in front of the teachers of the law, Jesus had forgiven a man’s sins, the teachers were correct in what they were thinking, for only God can forgive sins. Jesus read their thoughts; a little miracle nobody seemed to notice, and went right for the jugular, so to speak. He told a paralyzed man to get up and walk, and the man was made whole again, and did just that. Thus, Jesus had taken upon Himself God’s role to forgive, and then backed it up by making the man whole physically.

Wholeness, spiritually and physically: Jesus removed the consequences of sin, at least symbolically , right in front of their eyes. To state what happened in another way, Jesus had just shown the whole crowd that He was the Son of God… and the teachers of the law, by definition if nothing else, would have had to know that.

So, what do you think was in their report to HQ?

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Jesus Meets His Critics

  1. paulfg says:

    Another little noted element: the ones from Jerusalem charged with “healing” made sure they had a ringside seat – whilst those who sought healing did not – they had to come through the roof!

  2. NOdeb8 says:

    You just made me laugh with this. Pointing out yet another party trick by Jesus. I guess He deflated a few ego’s in the process. What He did, was a hard act to follow. Not that I am any better as my own little mustard seed is insignificant. Jesus just is unbeatable. Every time. All the time.

  3. pipermac5 says:

    The religious leaders should have been eagerly-awaiting the Messiah and should have know from the Old Testament prophesies what His role on earth would be, but they weren’t and didn’t. Instead, they felt threatened by Him because what He was doing might upset their own “kingdom”, so they wanted Him out of their hair. They probably told HQ that they had caught Jesus blaspheming because He made Himself equal with God. These were more “nails” in His “coffin” for when they were able to finally do-away with Him.

    Blessings!

  4. pipermac5 says:

    Yes, that reminds me of the conversation we had recently about being a servant-leader. The religious leaders weren’t content with being “servant-leaders”, “under-shepherds”, they wanted to be the TOP-DOGS. There is only ONE Great-Shepherd, and that is Jesus Christ. We are His sheep, and even though some of us are called to be under-shepherds, we are under His authority and Lordship.

    Blessings!

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