URC Daily Devotion Friday 19th January 2024

St Mark 2: 1 – 12

When Jesus  returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’  Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,  ‘Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’  At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”, or to say, “Stand up and take your mat and walk”?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the paralytic —  ‘I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.’  And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’


Many of us reading this Bible reading today will have had to deal with a leaking church roof. I often wonder what the owner of the house actually thought about the small group of committed and caring friends digging a hole in the roof to lower down their paralysed friend.

What struck me afresh when I re-read this reading was how the crowds, hungry to hear Jesus, congregate in and outside the house. The image you get here is of a large number of people coming to hear Jesus and have him heal their sicknesses, cleanse them from sin and speak powerfully into their lives, and Jesus did not disappoint. The paralysed man certainly had a life-changing encounter with Jesus that day.

We are told that Jesus “preached the word to them” (v2.) I enjoy preaching and leading worship. I am passionate about people’s lives being changed as they encounter Jesus, become disciples of Jesus, and as Jesus becomes part of their lives.

The image of people digging through the roof of the house so that their friend can receive Jesus’ healing is a beautiful image. May we as followers of Christ bring people to Jesus so that he can touch their lives and have their lives transformed by him. May we, as disciples, never tire of coming to Jesus to have him touch our lives too.


Loving God, I thank you that people were and are drawn to your Son Jesus Christ. As people of faith may we live lives that point to Jesus. May our lives speak of our love for you and may we, like the friends of this paralysed man, bring people to Jesus. May our churches be places of welcome where the word is preached and where people can meet with Jesus and have their lives transformed.  May the Holy Spirit lead, guide and fill us, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.   

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