- Standing up in his house
Mark 2, 1-12:the healing of a
The healing of a paralytic happened in Capernaum. The name
of that village is a whole program of salvation. In Hebrew "Kefar
Nahum" means the village of Nahum and Nahum is "the
comforted". Jesus chose his home in the village of the
In Kefar Nahum, the event is happening in Jesus' home, that is
in fact the house of Peter and Andre. The text mentions another
house, the one of the paralytic. "Go to your house"
It might be not far from Jesus' house but what a journey for
the paralytic. We can underline several aspects of it.
- A way to surprise
Until that day the paralytic has only known the deadlock of
motionless and dependency.
- The solid faith of his stretcher bearers had to meet a
challenging route: the door of the house being blocked by the
many people listening to Jesus, they had to imagine another way,
through the roof, with the risk to let the poor man fall
It is a kind of a reverse situation in requesting the help of
God. A disabled person lying in bed in his house sees mainly
the ceiling: when he implores God to be healed, it is somewhat
like the prophet Isaiah: "O if you were tearing up the sky,
if you were coming down to me!" But now the Highest has
become the "Lowest", he is not in the highest but under
the roof, in the house of the humans and it is there that we
have to join him, by tearing apart the roof ourselves, the roof
is the symbol of the boundaries and the restrictions that we
put between him and us.
Surprise by the welcome on his arrival! Probably the paralytic
was expecting the word of Jesus to put him back on his feet but
he heard" Your sins are forgiven!" He was coming for
an immediate healing but he understood that there might be other
- A way to dignity
Jesus does not present to the people the paralytic like a
notorious sinner, taken in the act; this will be a source of
humiliation in front of the others. To forgive some body without
exposing him publicly, Jesus cannot find a better occasion than
this man without movement and voice who reminds of an innocent
child. Jesus makes it known to him by informally
saying to him; "My baby" (in Greek, "Tecknon",
the little one)
- A way to truth
All the same, the paralytic cannot escape his adulthood condition
and Jesus takes him along a way of truth. If he is a sinner,
it is a sign that he is not a sub-human; he is able to say in
himself "no" to somebody including to God.
- From this, Jesus recalls to the crowd that sin is not
first a gesture or a crime committed in the open: "Out
of the heart of man, come evil thoughts" (Mark 7, 21),
and these thoughts can very well exist in a motionless man.
To the paralytic, the wake up of his conscience is the first
step to stand up again. And the forgiveness of Jesus makes him
aware that God loves him as a true son in its humanity. Then,
"Rise and take up your pallet and walk" in front
of everybody to show where you are coming from.
- A way to freedom
- Last recommendation:
- " Go to your house" The healed man is
sent back to his own conscience, to his ordinary life, to the
new course he will have to invent, to a way of freedom.
- His house will be from now on the house of a man healed
in his body and soul. He will now pray Jesus of Capernaum who
visits and "comforts" his people.