Tiles, roofs and brickbats – Friday, 1st week in ordinary time- Mark 2: 1-12

Jesus has completed what would seem like a quick pastoral visit to the towns of Galilee and ‘after some days’ (2:1) has returned to Capernaum and is at ‘home’. Brace yourself, because this little detail has often skipped you. He will now work a miracle in His very home under His very roof and yet it is the roof that becomes the great prop in this this miracle. This home was not owned by Jesus, in all probability was the home of Peter (1:29, 33) but Jesus has made this His home in Capernaum.

The miracle in 2: 1-12 is part of what is called the five conflict stories (2: 1- 3:6) spanning thirty four verses. The five conflict stories will introduce the various opponents of Jesus who were also the opponents of the early Christians. These opponents move from admiration (2:12) to active hostility (3:6). First they have question in their hearts (Mark 2:6); then they question His disciples (Mark 2:16); and finally, they confront Jesus himself (Mark 2:24). By the end they are so incensed that they immediately begin to plan to “destroy him” (Mark 3:6). In the first of these five conflict stories, we encounter the scribes who are the opponents of Jesus.

Jesus chooses His own home to break the word (diaphemizein ton logon). He is teaching the scriptures to a crowd that has flocked to not merely see the miracles but now have settled down to the words behind the miracles. Scripture now tells us that some people (unspecified number) come to Him and of these ‘some’ it mentions four who carry a paralyzed man.

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