A paralysed man (Mark 2: 1–12)

This miracle shows the beginning of the on-going conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities.

Jesus was in Capernaum teaching a large crowd when he was interrupted by four determined men who were bringing their friend to be healed.

On this occasion Jesus healed a person because of the faith of others and their actions in cutting a hole in the roof and lowering him down. Jesus said to the man, “Courage my son, your sins are forgiven.”

In Jesus’ time people thought that sickness or disability was a punishment from God for committing sin. The Pharisees who were present at the time were very shocked because they thought that Jesus was committing blasphemy (claiming to be God or to have the power of God).

They believed that only God can forgive sins, they were angry that Jesus was claiming to have the same power as God.

Jesus replies to their thoughts by saying, “I will prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

Jesus says that he has the authority to forgive sins and then proves it by healing the paralysed man.

Jesus calls himself “Son of man” – a safe title for him to use. The title was originally used by the prophet Ezekiel to describe himself. He wanted to show that he was an ordinary person. Likewise, Jesus called himself “Son of man” to remind his disciples that he was a person, just like them. The term was also used in the prophesy of Daniel to describe a figure with authority from God. Many people connected this prophesy with the idea of the coming Messiah.

Jesus tells the man to get up, pick up his mat and go home. The people were amazed at the miracle and praised God because they had never seen anything like it before.