Friends were so desperate to maneuver a paralyzed man through the crowds to Jesus for healing that they climbed up on the roof of house Jesus was in and lowered the man down in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark’s vivid story heightens our sense of Jesus’ popularity and people’s desperate need. The narrative sets us up to expect Jesus will heal the paralyzed man as he raised up Peter’s mother-in-law, healed a leper, and made whole the crowds of sick people at his door. Instead the narrative surprises us. Jesus forgives the man’s sins rather than heal him. Jesus’ forgiveness is more than dramatic; scribes who witness the healing consider Jesus’ actions blasphemy.
How has forgiveness given you new life and moved you beyond a place you were stuck?