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Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man: A Reflection

Ruby is a freelance writer from the Philippines. Besides writing, she enjoys studying the Scripture and leads a Bible study group.


The Story as Gospel Writer Apostle Mark Records It

Gospel Writer Mark narrates the story according to his account in Mark 2:1-12 (KJV). The Biblical account runs,

"1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."

The Characters in the story

As common to every narrative, a story has always different elements. The setting, the characters, the plot, and others. But let us just focus on one element--the characters of the story. Let's take a closer look at each of these characters and the role they each played in this narrative.

The Desirous Crowd

The crowd, I imagine, is a hungry mob. They are hungry for the word of God. It is because the story tells us that as soon as they heard about Jesus' arrival, the house where Jesus stayed became full-packed. They wanted to see and hear Jesus. They longed to be satisfied. They desired for His presence. Does this sound like you? Or it's the other way around?

The Critical Scribes

According to Youngblood et. al Compact Bible Dictionary, the Scribes were "members of a learned class in ancient Israel through the New Testament times who studied the Scriptures and served as copyists, editors, and teachers." Further, during the time of Jesus, they were considered a new upper class among the Jewish people.

Yes, trusted as they are when it comes to the law, unfortunately, yet these Scribes never made Jesus' work any easier. No, not at all. In fact, they came to criticize Jesus and find fault with Him and His work claiming that Jesus did a blasphemous act as verse 7 states. Let's face it. Could this be us Christians too? Is it possible that, instead of supporting other missionaries, we too tend to find fault with them and the mission and good work they are doing?

The Helpless Paralytic

The paralyzed man, lay on the mat feeling helpless. He couldn’t do anything for himself except that had to entirely depend on others to come to Jesus. Oftentimes, you and I are helpless. On our own, we can’t do anything for ourselves. At times, we need others, our families, neighbors, friends, and relatives or someone else to carry us. But thanks to his friends who willingly offered their time and strength just to take him to Jesus' front. These four friends had the heart for him. Do we have that heart as these four friends of the paralytic? Do we have a minute to spare for others?

The Courageous Four Men

More interestingly, let's focus on the four men who took the lead in carrying the paralyzed man. I could imagine their courage, asking permission from the house owner to make a whole on the roof just for a friend to pass through it. If you take a look at the story again at a closer view, you will discover that these men were somehow only in the backseat. As a matter of fact, their names never appeared or came to be mentioned. Yet, these men played the key role in the healing of the paralytic. In fact, verse 5 reads, seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 'Your faith has made you well.' In short, these unknown men became instrumental for the healing of the paralytic.

Jesus, the Hardworking Messenger

Of course Jesus played the most significant role in this narrative. Having just arrived from His trip, I believe Jesus was super tired. Maybe, he came home wanting to take a short break or a good nap from his long and tiring mission trip.

But then, the mob came to see Him. They jumped in to hear Jesus and He knew it. As the crowd moved closer, He couldn't say no. He didn't even have a word telling them "Not yet please." Or "please wait, I need to take a little shower or break for now." No. He never say that. As soon as the people came, He immediately gave them the bread of life. Not a single word of complaint escaped from His lips. He never wasted a single moment arguing that it wasn't time yet. No. He simply delivered God's word. What an action to emulate. Then, He uttered these two sentences of hope to this helpless man, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee"(v.5). "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house"(v.11).


In Summary

Like the characters in this lovely narrative, each of us has a role to play in this vast world. Some of us may just want to see and desire to sit at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him. Others may play the role of the Scribes, we have the highest rank in society, we have enough knowledge yet, we never make use of that knowledge except to criticize those who are working to make the lives of others better. We are never at any advantage over those who don't have the truth at all.

A few of us may be like the courageous four men, despite their no rank in society yet they are the key players that move that society to alleviate the suffering of their fellowmen. Some of us play the role of the paralytic. No matter what we do, we remain helpless due to some circumstances we are in that is beyond our control. We really need others' aid for us to come out and make a way for us to come closer to our Creator in order to find healing. Praise God for Jesus, the hardworking Messenger who is always at work for us despite the circumstances we are in.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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