Friday, January 15, 2016

Through the Roof

In this morning's Gospel we watch as a paralytic is lowered through the open roof before Jesus. We imagine this poor man, frozen and still, paralyzed perhaps by a fall at work. He knows the embarrassing truth- his paralysis is caused by sin, maybe the sin of his parents, but probably his own sin. He knows it; everybody in the Capernaum knows it, all devout Jews in Jesus’ day believed it-  sin causes sickness. Jesus knows differently. 

We imagine this poor man's surprise and resistance as his friends, perhaps his buddies from work, arrive at his home and want to take him to Jesus. "The Lord is back home, here in Capernaum; we're bringing you to him." Perhaps he struggles to whisper, "No." He's afraid; Jesus will know; Jesus will expose his sin; Jesus might condemn him. But the Lord Jesus brimming with mercy and compassion is moved with pity. He knows that what burdens this man most of all is guilt. And so first of all Jesus forgives his sin. But Jesus' compassion will not, cannot stop there. He not only has authority to forgive sins on earth, he has authority over all evil and sickness. And so he says to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” 

Like those gathered around Jesus in his house at Capernaum, we are astounded; and we too glorify and praise God for the mercy and compassion that come to us in Christ Jesus our Lord .
Photograph by Brother Brian.