Reframing the Picture
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.
And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
And 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 man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But 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, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12
Often we focus on the deed of the four friends’ and the paralytic’s healing. Indeed their story of friendship, tenaciousness, and love is something to be imitated.
Today, my mind is drawn to the scribes. In a way, these religious teachers and writers of the law are correct in their perspective. After all, to them, Jesus is not a priest but a rabbi and therefore would not have authority to accept sacred offerings on God’s behalf to absolve this man’s sin. This statement would be considered “βλασφημεῖ” (blasphemy); speaking profanely, slanderously, or too casually about sacred things.
This is confusing to the scribes, and Jesus picks up on it and reframes their picture by saying:
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”
The miracle, coupled with a declaration of forgiveness, leads to a revelation moment for the scribes (and the reader). The event is punctuated by Jesus declaring himself the “Son of Man,” one of the monikers used in the scrolls to point to the coming Messiah.
Please help us to be open to the Holy Spirit reframing our life of faith. Sometimes our focus is on our perspective when it needs to be expanded to see the “Big Picture.” You, Lord Jesus, are the Big Picture!
I pray in the name of the Son of Man. Amen!