Monday, March 02, 2009

Lenten Reading Mark 2:1-12

I notice a few things about today’s reading (Mark 2:1-12):

1. It was probably Jesus’ house that got its roof ripped open. The text says, “When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for the at the door” (vv.1-2).

2. Jesus equates healing and forgiveness. So often, some churches are accused of downplaying sin and emphasizing brokenness. In the paralyzed man, Jesus doesn’t make a distinction. That doesn’t mean that he sees physical infirmities as sinful, but sin, disease, and suffering are part of life in a fallen world, a world he came to redeem and set free.

3. In forgiving the man’s sins and thereby healing him, Jesus takes the place of the temple, where officially recognized forgiveness happened. The paralyzed man’s friends brought him to Jesus instead of the temple like most other Jews would have. And for Jesus to forgive the man’s sins was to put himself in the place of, not just the temple priests who mediated between God and the people, but God as well. Jesus wasn’t properly “credentialed” to forgive sins. This would be like me handing out drivers licenses. I’m simply not authorized to do so. But Jesus took on - embodied - the temple’s authority, therefore replacing the temple in himself. And in so doing, made God’s love and healing available to all.

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