In Mark 2, Jesus travelled back to Peter and Andrew’s hometown, Capernaum, and was most likely staying with them. He had called Peter, Andrew, James and John as His disciples and no doubt there was some theological restructuring that needed to take place in their minds. They had been raised in Judaism. They had learned the faith of their people and were probably doing their best to abide by all the extra standards set out for them by the religious leaders of the day.
Jesus’ teaching must have been liberating. The years of inbred, preference-based standards that had bound the people of Israel disintegrated as Jesus explained how man truly obtains right standing before God. As he taught, people slowly sifted into the room and listened. Soon the room was full and people packed in the doorway to hear His words.
Jesus continued to teach. “The Kingdom of Heaven has nothing to do with…” His message came as a shock to some, but as freedom to most. Suddenly, pinholes of light shone down on Jesus. The listeners looked up in amazement as the roof to the room suddenly started to peel away. Hands were pulling piece by piece off the house. For a moment Jesus paused, as four men lowered a man wrapped in a sheet down to Him.
Without hesitation, Jesus looked at the man in the sheet and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The religious crowd that had recently arrived to hear the new theology of Jesus was appalled. In their hearts they were screaming, “Only God can forgive sins!” Knowing their hearts, Jesus looked up to them and said, “Would it have been easier for you if I just healed Him instead of forgiving His sins?” They had no response, so, Jesus continued, “Then to show you that I am the Son of man, watch this.” Jesus turned His gaze back to the poor man who had now been objectified by the religious crowd, “It’s ok, get up. Pick up your sheet. Walk home.” And the man who before was a crippled mess now arose healed, and left.
Jesus truly was the Liberator. He had come to liberate the minds of God’s people from the binding lies of generational ignorance. He had come to liberate the bodies of God’s people from the devastating effects of Adam’s fall. He had come ultimately to liberate the souls of mankind from the horrible consequence of sin. This thing had been broken for long enough. He was here to fix it.
Food For Thought: Reread verse 12. How did the people respond to this miracle of healing? List some ways this entire occurrence differs from the modern-day, charismatic, faith-healer movement.