THE ROOF UNROOFED
Lord God, I praise You for burdens lifted, sins forgiven, and hope restored. I rejoice to be with You now.
Read MARK 2:1–12
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What things keep you away from Jesus, preventing you from hearing Him speak? Confess them to Him.
If you had been there, what would you have thought? In Luke 7, we are told this house belonged to Simon the Pharisee. Do you wonder, as I do, what Simon about his house being torn apart? [Simon? Whence cometh this information? In Luke 7:44 we’re told Simon the Pharisee owns that house, but homeowner identity is not disclosedhere] Did Jesus go on preaching while dirt and twigs fell on His head? First-century houses in that area were one-story with flat roofs that people put to all sorts of uses.1 They re-roofed them regularly. So it wasn’t as odd as we might think that these people went up on the roof (by an outside staircase) and unroofed the roof by digging it out, as the Greek literally says.
What follows is equally surprising. What stands out is that Jesus knows everything that is going on with the paralytic, his friends, and the crowd. We might have expected Him just to indicate compassion for the paralytic and heal him, but the story doesn’t go that way. When He sees their faith, He forgives the man (5). Jesus knows more than we do (and more than Simon, Mark’s source). Maybe ‘their’ includes the paralytic, too. Maybe the rooftop entry was his idea. Maybe he wanted forgiveness even more than the ability to walk again.
The scribes latch on to only one thing. What authority does Jesus have to forgive anyone? Before they dare to say anything, Jesus takes the initiative and asks them an easy question. When He commands the paralytic to get up, the paralytic answers their question in plain sight. Everyone (including the scribes?) is stunned. It is not what they thought the day would bring.
Are you afraid to be open with Jesus? Do you think He doesn’t know? He can stun us with His power and authority as He takes the initiative and continues to bring His kingdom to earth.
Whether you’re like the paralytic, needing forgiveness and healing, or like the scribes murmuring criticism, come to Jesus now.
All-knowing God, You see beyond the surface of my personality, right down to the hidden roots. Thank You for healing and cleansing me right down to the depths.
1 Think of Peter at Joppa, Acts 10:9
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