September 17

September 17

Jesus’ Healings in Capernaum — Jesus heals a leper & a paralytic is lowered through a roof.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Luke 5:12-26

Reading 2: Mark 1:32-45

Reading 3: Mark 2:1-12

Today we learn from two healings in Galilee. Remember this is Jesus’ home region. In Nazareth He is seen as “Mary’s boy” but in the rest of Galilee He is renowned as the powerful teacher who heals people. This threatens the religious leaders who would have tried their best to turn the crowds against Jesus.

Maybe that is why the leper was hesitant to go to the priest as instructed? Whatever the reason, he tells what Jesus has done and scores of people are drawn to follow as a result. May the same be said of our testimony to Jesus!

Then some friends bring a paralytic to Jesus, and exhibit great faith in tearing up a roof to lower him in front of Jesus where they know the man will be healed. Interestingly, knowing the man’s heartfelt need along with his physical need, Jesus first tells him his sins are forgiven. In that culture sickness was commonly held to be the result of the person’s sin. This guy must have had a great weight of guilt on his shoulders – his sin must have been great to render him incapable of physical work.

This of course offends the religious leaders whose whole system depends on keeping everyone feeling guilty so they will do what the religious leaders say. And Jesus rightly points out that it is easier to say the unprovable “your sins are forgiven” than the easily verified “stand up and walk.” The paralyzed man benefits twice from the religious leaders’ self-interest. First his sins are forgiven, and then he gets his mobility back! And neither of those were within his grasp before his friends decided that Jesus was the answer to his problems.

May God do more than you can ask or imagine today – not merely for you but for those around you who have no faith, and no hope!

Have a great day!