Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mark: healings, Trinitarian mysteries, and such

Mark 1:35-2:12

In this passage, Jesus starts out praying by himself and his disciples look for him.  He says he must continue to travel and preach the gospel to all the towns, not just settle down in one place.

Then he heals a leper.  He tells the leper to not tell anyone, so naturally he tells everyone, and Jesus can no longer do things secretly.

Finally, he is at Peter's house again in Capernaum.  I assume it's Peter's house because he stayed there a lot and I think Peter's mother-in-law would be happy to have him over any time because he healed her.

Four men want to bring their paralyzed friend to be healed but because of that former leper, they cannot even get to the door.  So they dig a hole in the roof and lower him down.  Jesus forgives the man's sins.  The Pharisees around there grumble to themselves that only God can forgive sins.  Jesus, knowing exactly what they are thinking asks, "Which is easier?  To heal him or to forgive him?"  Then he heals the man.

I love Jesus's restlessness to hurry and get the gospel of himself to all the towns of Galilee.  But in his busy moments he still gets up early to pray by himself.  This moment also shows that mystery of the trinity where Jesus and the Father are both one God but they are still separate people.  Jesus still prays to the Father.

I can never tell whether Jesus told the ex-leper not to tell people about his healing because he knew  that he would want to tell or if in his human capacity he really did not realize that the man would still disobey and tell people.  I do know that Jesus chose to heal this man with the knowledge that he would tell people.  And even though he knew he would disobey, he still healed him.  So maybe he did know that word would get out.

The story of the four men and their paralyzed friend is one of my favorites in the Bible.  1) it shows that Jesus heals and forgives based on the faith of someone's friends, not necessarily that person.  That is why it is so important to constantly lift people we love in prayer and to share Jesus with them.

2) It shows that Jesus actually is God.  He can and does forgive people.

3) Jesus died to forgive our sins.  It is easy to simply heal a person.  It is hard to give up yourself to forgive the sins of your enemies and then turn them into your friends.  Jesus died to do both things.  Sickness, death, and disease are all results of Adam and Eve's sins, and they will all find their end in Jesus's sacrifice starting at that moment and still going on today up until Christ finally returns to establish his Kingdom.

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