How many of us find it easy to say ‘It does not matter’, or ‘I forgive that person’ but yet not really mean it? How many times has our faith being tested and challenged and as we come into conflict with ourselves and others how do we react?
The story of the paralysed man Mk 2:1-13 is one of the many conflict stories in Mark where Jesus is challenged by the religious authorities. They are not happy that he is forgiving sins because as far as they are concerned, only God can do that. It is easy for them to use the words of forgiveness, but how many of them can heal the paralysed man and let him walk and how many of them can also forgive themselves and others? Jesus wants to heal the man and also show people that he has authority to do so. When he talks about forgiveness he means it. The faith of the paralysed man’s friends was a great example of trust in Jesus. They literally took the roof off so that they could get their friend to Jesus. You can imagine Jesus sitting there, teaching, and then the roof opens…
“And I look out and I see paralysed men and women, paralysed congregations, paralysed ministries and I want to cry; ‘Your sins are forgiven. Rise, take up your bed and walk!’ And I treasure those moments of intrusion, when the heavens are torn apart and the Spirit descends and I rise from the water and I know there is hope”