Thursday, First Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

Mark 2:5,11-12 – When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven…I say to you stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up…so that they were all amazed and glorified God

These friends were willing to do anything to get the paralyzed man before Jesus. They climbed on top of a house, cut a hole in the roof, and lowered the man down before Jesus. And Jesus saw their faith. Jesus did not reward them for the work they had done any more than he reprimanded them for cutting a hole in the roof. It wasn’t because of their hard work that he tended to them; it was because of their faith.

And Jesus clearly sets his eyes on the priority, the forgiveness of sins. Jesus knew the man would walk in this life or the next, so his priority was in making sure that there was a ‘next’ for this man. Jesus only heals him right then as a secondary thing, and as a demonstration to the unbelievers that he did have the authority given to him by God to do such things.

It is humbling to think of the majesty of giving movement to a man paralyzed, and then to realize that it is only secondary in the eyes of God to the forgiveness for our sins. I know that any of us would go to great lengths if we could help a friend who was paralyzed regain their movement, but we are more reluctant to go to the same lengths to bring a friend before God. We need to realign our thinking to that of God’s.

From lightening and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine, Good Lord deliver us” BCP 149

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