THE SERVANT GENERAL
NO ONE IN NEED
SPIRITUAL AND SOCIAL
Today’s gospel: Mark 2:1-12
Who are the poor? They are those who are the least, the lost,
the outcasts, the deprived. In today’s gospel, it is
came to hear Jesus preach, and “they came bringing to
him a paralytic carried by four men.” (v.3). They were
quite resourceful. Because “many gathered together so
that there was no longer room for them, not even around the
door” (v.2a), and “unable to get near Jesus because
of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they
had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic
was lying.” (v.4).
Jesus’ reputation, they expected him to heal the paralytic.
What did Jesus do? “When Jesus saw their faith, he said
to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’”
(v.5). Even more important than physical healing was spiritual
healing. Even more important than human liberation is salvation.
In fact, to be healed of paralysis but still to be paralyzed
by sin, fear, blindness to truth, prejudice, hatred, hopelessness,
despair, etc., is not to speak of true liberation. Social
action without spiritual transformation is not what God intends.
the good news is about salvation in Jesus. But salvation includes
liberation. God touches both the soul and the body. It is
both-and, not either-or. And so Jesus also “said to
the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your mat,
and go home.’” (v.11). To the paralytics of today,
when they come to faith in him, Jesus says, “Your sins
are forgiven” and “rise, pick up your mat and
is awesome good news. When people saw the power of God at
work, “they were all astounded and glorified God”
(v.12b). Through the work of Jesus in and through us, may
many be awed, touched in a deep way, and end up giving praise
and glory to God.