Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Yet early in Jesus’ ministry, many of the religious establishment were coming to hear him, and here now are the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, perhaps even Essenes, and these from all over.
2. One day, sitting to teach in the home of what most commentators think is that of a wealthy person, a group of four (Mark tells us there were four), bring to Jesus a man who cannot walk, a paralytic.
3. Unable to gain access to Jesus due to the large crowd, they climbed up, likely by means of an external staircase, to what is likely a flat roof made up of sun hardened mud slabs or tiles.
4. They lower the paralytic, lying on a bed of some sort, to the room Jesus is in. Jesus takes this event as one of faith, that these men thought Jesus could heal their friend.
5. Jesus’ opening statement is, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Whereupon the religious folk thought they were hearing Jesus utter blasphemous words. Jesus could detect their mumblings and asks which is easier to forgive sin or heal an obvious serious physical malady.
6. For the first time Jesus utters to words, “Son of Man,” code for Messiah, and says to the paralytic, “rise and pick up your bed and go home.”
7. The result was that “awe” and the Greek the word is best translated “fear,” those who witnessed the miracle said that they had seen “extraordinary things today.”