With this Gospel it is fun watching the drama being played out. Our Lord’s popularity had soared so that, when he came to the synagogue in Capernaum the place was packed out, and the seats behind the rostrum were filled with Scribes and Pharisees who had come from Jerusalem to build a case against Jesus.
Friends of a paralyzed man, hoping for a cure, had put him on a stretcher, and they had carried him to the synagogue, not only finding it packed, but also finding crowds surrounding the synagogue.
Now, a thing about that synagogue was that it had a flat roof where people go go up to study. The resourceful friends carried the stretcher up on that roof, and they began removing the tiles from a few feet in front of where Jesus would be teaching.
As Jesus went on, addressing the men on one side and the women on the other, they all were sharing amazement as they saw dust and straw falling in front of Jesus, but Jesus showed no surprise as the stretcher, suspended from ropes was lowered in front of him.
He addressed the paralyzed man, saying, “Your sins are forgiven.”
That disappointed the paralyzed man’s friends who hadn’t worried about the man’s sins.
They just wanted a cure. It pleased the Scribes and Pharisees, seeing where they could convict Jesus of blasphemy, seeing that it purported to do what only God could do.
But Jesus had a way of brushing aside the charges they made against him. He told the paralyzed man to hop down and to carry away his stretcher. That proved that he had the power to forgive sins.