September 18, 2015, Mark 2:1-12
Prayer for Illumination
Living God, open my heart, mind, and body to experience you in this reading of scripture, that in experiencing you I might grow into someone who brings you honor. Amen.
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3Then some people came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. 4And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7‘Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 8At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”, or to say, “Stand up and take your mat and walk”? 10But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the paralytic— 11‘I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.’12And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’
Today’s scripture from Mark includes a much-loved story. However, when you read it carefully there are some surprises in it—curiosities, perhaps. For example, why does Christ go after the man’s sins first?
Do you think Christ comes off as having a bit of an attitude here?
Why do you think that is?
Do you enjoy or not enjoy this side of the Teacher?
If you’re participating in these daily readings through Facebook, comment to this post with your answer to this question:
What’s one question you would like to ask Mark about a detail in today’s story?
Opportunity for Action
The paralyzed man’s friends climbed a roof and destroyed it in order to bring him to Christ. Pray for a friend of yours today, particularly one who may not be close with Christ.
Bonus: Let the friend know you were thinking and/or praying for them today.
Offer your own prayer or simply close your time of reflection with the Lord’s Prayer spoken aloud.