Day 2 – A man who could not walk

Bible reading: Mark 2:1–12

Jesus helps a man who cannot walk

1 Several days after that, Jesus returned to Capernaum. People reported that he had come back to his home. 2 Many people came into the house. The house was so full that there was no room, even outside the door. Jesus was teaching people the good news. 3 Four men came. They were carrying another man on a mat. That man could not walk or move his legs. 4 They could not reach Jesus because of the crowd. So they made a hole in the roof above the place where Jesus was. They helped the man to go down through the hole. He was still lying on his mat. 5 Jesus saw the man and his friends. He knew that they believed in him. So he said to the man who could not walk, ‘My friend, I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.’

2:5Houses in Israel had flat roofs. There were steps outside the house up to the roof. The roof was really small sticks and hard dry soil. It was easy for the men to make a big hole in the roof. Then they could tie ropes on to the mat and they could put it down through the roof. The man came down in front of Jesus.

6 But some teachers of God's Law were sitting there. They thought about the words that Jesus had spoken to the man. 7 ‘This man Jesus should not have said that,’ they thought. ‘He is speaking as if he is God. Only God can forgive people for the wrong things that they have done.’

8 Immediately, Jesus knew in his spirit what the teachers were thinking. ‘You should not think these things,’ he said to them. 9 ‘I said to this man who cannot walk, “I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.” Instead, I could have said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Which one is easier for me to say? 10 But I want you to know this. I, the Son of Man, have authority on earth. I can forgive people for the wrong things that they have done.’ Then he said to the man who could not walk: 11 ‘I am saying to you: Stand up! Pick up your mat and go home.’ 12 The man stood up. Immediately, he picked up his mat and walked out of the house. Everyone watched him do this. It surprised all the people very much. They praised God and they said, ‘God is great. We have never seen anything like this before.’

2:12Jesus often called himself the Son of Man. He may have done this so that people would remember about some messages in the Bible. See Daniel 7:13-14.

Mark 2:1-12 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

Everyone wanted to hear this amazing, attractive young man. Well, there was a man who was totally paralysed. He could not walk. It seems he had been like this for a long time. But he had four friends – good friends – and they were determined to get him to meet Jesus, the teacher-healer.

Difficult to get near

But it was impossible to get anywhere near. Then one of them had a clever idea. ‘Let’s use the outside stairs of the house and carry him to the roof.’

They did just that. Ordinary houses often had a roof of branches and dried mud, so it wasn’t too difficult to make a big hole. Just imagine what the crowd in the house were thinking as bits of dried mud crashed down on them!

The friends got it just right. There was Jesus below them, and they let their friend down – on a sort of bed they’d made – right in front of him. What would he do? As so often before, Jesus amazed them. It was perfectly obvious what the man’s need was: healing for his legs. But Jesus did not deal immediately with that. He knew about something from the man’s past that nobody else could know. And he said, ‘Son, you are free from your sin.’

Special Saviour

The religious leaders there were furious. ‘Blasphemy!’ they cried, ‘Who can forgive guilt except God alone?’ Exactly. And Jesus wanted them to understand the real meaning of what they had said. He was God’s special Saviour who had come to announce God’s forgiveness. So he asked them: ‘Which is easier – to say “You are free from your sins.” or to say to this helpless, paralysed man, “Stand up. Take up your mat and walk.”?’

Jesus healed the man then and there. The man picked up his mat. And all the people who had been too crowded together to let him in, now separated easily enough to let him out!

We have never seen anything like this

People were absolutely amazed. ‘We have never seen anything like this,’ they said. So now we have had two examples that show Jesus is God’s special representative. He knows where all the fish are. And he not only forgives a man’s hidden guilt but also puts him on his feet again. What do you think about that? Who do you think Jesus is?