Morning Psalms 19; 150

First Reading Joshua 6:15-27

Second Reading Acts 22:30-23:11

Gospel Reading Mark 2:1-12

Evening Psalms 81; 113


Mark 2:1-12


1When 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 paralyzed 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!”


I wonder if the Pharisees joined the crowd in this last exclamation—“We have never seen anything like this!” Their complaint about Jesus forgiving sins seems small next to the miracle (complaints usually do seem small next to miracles). So they move to the confession. They (and the crowd) don’t exactly know who Jesus is at this point. How could they? All they know is that the miracle comes stamped with the unmistakable fingerprints of God’s grace. When words fail, when we have never seen anything like it before, it’s a pretty good sign God is in the miracle somewhere.


God, give us eyes to see you, and hearts to receive the surprise of grace, in Jesus, our Lord. Amen.