Mark 2:1-12

Throughout the season of Lent our daily devotions have been written by members of the Faith Lutheran community. Our theme this Lent is “Jesus Our Healer.” Today’s devotion comes from Jim Rollinson.

When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12

My Bible subtitles this section of Mark, “Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man.” That occurs in these verses, but I wonder if we might make a mistake in how we read that subtitle.

Jesus is presented with a paralyzed man, and instead of healing the man’s body, he forgives the man of his sins. In doing that, Jesus heals the man’s spirit. Jesus saw what the man truly longed for and gave him his desire. Jesus saw the man’s heart and called him to forgiveness. The healing of the paralyzed man’s body is almost incidental to Jesus’ relationship with the man.

The physical healing takes place simply to show to Jesus’ skeptics that he has the power to forgive…and the power to heal.

What is really great about this passage is that the subtitle is true regardless of whether Jesus physically has the paralyzed man get up and walk or doesn’t.

Often when we read the Bible it helps our understanding when we put ourselves in the place of various characters in it. When we do this with the subtitle, it says it all. “Jesus Forgives and Heals Me.”

Let us pray: Jesus, Son of God, forgive me. Jesus, Son of God, heal me. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Mark 2:1-12”

  1. kirk Says:

    A Men

  2. Carolee Groux Says:

    Yes, yes! Jesus forgive me. Jesus heal me. Amen.

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