The lion of St Mark



The previous healing of Jesus in Capernaum took place in the synagogue on the sabbath (1,21). How is the time and place of this second healing different to the first?

Read the story of the healing and compare it with the preceeding healing of the leper (1,40-45). What are the various steps by which this story unfolds and what has been inserted into it?

Compare verses 1-2 with Mt 9,1-2 and Lk 5,17-18. What is notable about Mark's beginning to this episode? What is common to the three accounts (2,5)?

In verse 2, Jesus' popularity is again highlighted (see 1,45). What is Jesus doing (1,21)?

In verses 3-4 we have some drastic action taken to get a paralysed man in front of Jesus. What does the paralysed man do in the story?

How does Jesus involve the four bearers in verse 5? What is the theme of verses 5 to 10? See Ps 38 and Ps 107,17. See also Jn 9,2-3.

In verses 6-7 the scribes are present and questioning. What is the expression in verses 6 and 8? Look at variations in the translations for verse 6 and decide which might be closest to the Greek original.
Why do they consider Jesus' statement blasphemy? On blasphemy, see Lev 24,10-16.
For sins and God's forgiveness see among many references: Ex 34,6-7 and Is 43,25 and Psalm 51.

Again compare translations for verse 8 to see how Jesus picked up the controversy. What does this tell us about Jesus at this early stage of the story?

This leads to the question of verse 9. What is Jesus establishing here?

"You may know" in verse 10 echoes the Old Testament: Ex 16,12 or Is 45,3. The first mention of the Son of Man ends the controversy. "Son of Man" is found frequently in Ezekiel (Ezk 2,1 onwards) and occasionally in the Psalms, Ps,8,4 for example. A different emphasis is found in Daniel (Dn 7,14, see 13,26).

Verses 11 then concludes the healing. What word occurs for the healing in both verses 9 and 11 (see 1,31)?
In verse 12 we hear the response of the people (1,27).

Time now for my response.

The Sunday Gospel

This first incident of chapter 2, the healing of a paralaytic man, is read on the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is taken from the second part of the prophet Isaiah. Read the whole passage Isaiah 43,14-28 in your Bible in order to see the Sunday reading (43,18-19,21-22,24b-25) in its proper context. What is the background of this part of Isaiah? How therefore can be the message of this reading be seen as illustrating the Gospel reading. (There's a clue in the last line.)

Now consider my response.

We are ready to move on to the second incident of chapter 2 and discover more about Jesus' attitudes to sin.