Day 5 – Read Mark 2:1-12
As I sit here, imagining what this scene must have looked like I find myself mulling over the places of each character and their roles in this story.
Jesus is in a house and speaking to a large crowd of people. He is speaking truth into their lives in a way that they had not encountered before, and it enraptured them. Are we enraptured with the truth of Christ even yet today?
As the friends of this man were trying to get in, the crowd, hearing the Gospel from the very mouth of Christ, was apparently unmoved by the needs of the man on the stretcher. Do we notice the needs of those around us as we gather to “do church?”
Finally, the most powerful part of this story for me came in Jesus’s interaction with the religious leaders. When I considered his response to those who rebuked him for reaching out to this man with the gift of forgiveness, I realized perhaps for the first time, that this wasn’t a “gotcha” moment. He was not trying to “shove it” to the religious leaders. Rather, it may have been an olive branch to those of us who struggle with faith. Some of us have a continuous mental dialog of doubt and uncertainty. People like me who don’t want to be taken in by the newest false teacher, approach anything new and exciting with skepticism. Rather than responding in anger, Jesus chose to offer proof of his message. Through this act of grace and compassion, the entire community is brought closer to the Father: the person whose needs were all encompassing, the four hopeful men who made a huge effort for their friend, and also the skeptical, lifelong religious people like myself who needed just a little extra help with their faith.
Willow Hall, in collaboration with Amanda Rue