Going from staying in bed to being center of attention

bed-lowered

Sometimes we all want to stay in bed and hide.

This is a story of a man confined to his bed, until his friends intervened.

Mark Chapter 2, verses 1-12  NKJV

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately[a] many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

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

And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

 

Here’s my comments, in bold. It’s what I do.

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. News traveled fast whenever Jesus showed up. He was “in the house” — is that where that slang came from? 🙂

Immediately[a] many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. People showed up from everywhere to hear Jesus speak. There was no more room in the house for them. Sounds like a hot nightclub, where everyone lines up to get in. Too bad our modern churches aren’t like that…yet. 😉

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.  There’s a paralyzed man who spent his days in bed. We don’t know from the text if this happened in adulthood, or if he spent his life like this, but we know that he was without hope. Four friends decided that today was his day, and they were beyond determined that he was going to be healed.

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.   These four men did not let circumstances stop them. They did not blame others. No one said, “The privileged people are blocking our way.” (Yes the privileged were in the way, the scribes and pharisees were there in their seats. But these men found another way–around the “privileged”.)  It sounds subtle: “They uncovered the roof where He was.” In reality: They tore the roof off. They dug through layers of tile and mortar to open up a hole in the roof. Imagine someone doing that at your church. Most likely, the pastor/priest would not be happy, you think? Then they let down the bed on which the man was lying. We picture it that they did it neatly, with ropes, but the text doesn’t say that. In fact, “bed” wouldn’t look like our modern bed, but more like a mat. Maybe they passed the man down, and those who were in the house had to help bring him in? They all had to touch the “sinner”.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus did NOT yell at them for wrecking the roof. In fact, he was delighted at their faith. Jesus called the paralyzed man “Son”, signifiying he was no longer an orphan, no longer an outcast, he was in a relationship with God. Surely the paralyzed man beat himself up every day; it was the belief that if you were so afflicted that it was a direct result of sin, either yours or your parents. He “knew” he was a great sinner and that’s why he was paralyzed. This probably tormented his mind constantly.

And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Here we go. The religious minds’ wheels start turning. But what about our rules and regulations?!

“Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Notice how they see Jesus as a mere man. Who does He think He is?!

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Jesus knew what they were thinking. No secrets there.

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? Which one is easier to say? Trick question. 

10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  So Jesus told him, “Get up and go home.” I wonder why he told him to go home? Didn’t he spend enough time at home? Maybe he would rather go to the market? I think Jesus sent him home so he could show his family what happened. Most likely this man didn’t live alone. He would be a testimony for his whole family to see.

12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” The man took up his bed (couldn’t be a modern bed!) and left the house.   They were all amazed and glorified God. According to the concordance, all means all. Did the scribes who watched this miracle become believers in Jesus?   Pretty hard not to believe after this one.

So this unnamed man started the day out in bed, feeling sorry for himself. He was picked up by friends, maybe unwillingly and without hope, and thrown into the middle of a house full of people. He was center of attention. But this story has a happy ending. He was not left in the middle of the crowd, paralyzed and helpless. He was sent home, happy to begin a new life.

 

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