Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daily - 1/15/10

Mark 2:1-12

1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.

2 Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.

3 They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

4 Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven."

6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,

7 "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"

8 Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?

9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?

10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"--

11 he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."

12 He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

My reflection is disconnected this morning and I don't have time to weave it together. :)

  • This is the first conflict with the religious leaders, who see Christ's forgiveness of sins as blasphemous. Christ responds to that with a miracle to demonstrate his deity.
  • "Rise, pick up your mat, and walk." There was a time in my life where these words really spoke to me about the need to cooperate with God as we ask for his help. It was a time where I was fighting off depression, and really didn't have the will to do anything. I went to mass and heard this reading. I understood that for the paralytic to be healed, he needed to rise and walk himself. If he'd just lain there, nothing would have happened, He had to believe he was healed, and then get up and put one foot in front of the other. It's the same way with us.
  • Christ identified himself as the "Son of Man". See the short article below. This is a small taste of the study of "Christology", which in my opinion is very much worth the time.

Link: -

"Son of Man" is one of the more interesting and enigmatic titles of Jesus. It used 81 times in the Gospels, and always by Jesus himself. No other character in the Gospel narratives nor any other biblical writer uses the term. Various explanations have been offered as to why Jesus employed the term and others did not. It may have been a term Jesus could use early in his ministry without inciting much hostility, because of its various meanings, but that would later encompass his messianic claims. The early Christian writers may have been reluctant to use it because the Greek phrase is somewhat ambiguous (Jesus would have used the simpler Aramaic term).

To determine what Jesus meant by the phrase, Biblical scholars turn to its use in the Old Testament. There the term "Son of Man" is used in three main contexts:

  • an address to the prophet Ezekiel (e.g. Ezekiel 2:1);
  • to refer to humanity in general, especially its lowliness when compared to God and the angels (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 8:14); and
  • to refer to an eschatological figure whose coming signals the end of history (Daniel 7:13-14).

Jesus appears to use the phrase especially in the third sense. He uses the phrase "Son of Man" when speaking of his roles of saving and judging (e.g. Mk 10:45; Mt 25:31) and of the future coming of an exalted, heavenly figure (e.g. Mt 13:41, 24:30; Mk 14:62; Lk 18:8).

(NOTE FROM MATT: in our passage today, Christ identifies himself as the Son of Man and claims the authority to forgive sins, so it is consistent with this third sense described above)