This morning I looked at the Ridgeway Bible Reading Plan and then ‘dived’ into Mark Chapter 2. The pace, as is often the case in Mark, was fairly relentless. I read of a healing, a call to follow and then two short discussions which followed immediately after. So what struck me as significant?
Tracey and I have been following a series on BBC2 called Manctopia. The documentary follows the massive redevelopment of Manchester city centre, through the lives of a number of individuals. Last night the producers focussed on fifteen people who because of various circumstances, were now squatting in an unused health centre. The building’s owners went to court and successfully received permission to remove those who had made a temporary home in their property. I am aware that I don’t know enough about this particular situation to comment. However, it is obvious when watching the programme, reading the papers and listening to the news, that we live in a society that often values property over people.
So let’s come back to Mark. In the opening verse of the chapter, we find that Jesus had returned to Capernaum. This was the little fishing town that he called ‘home’ during the years of his public ministry. Mark tells us that the house in which he was staying was packed. However, four men arrived carrying their paralysed friend upon a mat. Unable to gain access to the home through conventional means, they made their way onto the roof. I want you to picture the scene from below. Jesus is teaching in his front room, when debris begins to fall. Then daylight appears. Then the hole gets bigger and bigger. In fact it becomes large enough to lower down a man on a mat. I don’t think that this will be a shock. But I would be livid if someone had the audacity to take my home apart, bit by bit. But I want you to notice Jesus’ response. He commends the friends and forgives the man.
As we know, some people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Jesus however always valued people over property. I leave that as a challenge for both you and for me.
Every blessing, Gareth.