2 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
I rode my bike a lot this week. There is something about biking that is unlike anything else in my life. I feel myself come alive, and things come alive in me, memories and emotions both sharp and sweet. I’m more carefree when I bike. I tend to not think as much. Biking, it seems, turns me into someone I’m not used to.
When I’m biking, I seem to know who I am without thinking too much. And when I know who I am. When I know who I am, I seem to know who people are. I’m more resilient. I seem to handle things better.
A pastor's job is to not forget who people are. To not bully or manipulate or pander to them. In order to not forget, he will have to remember who he or she is with some vigilance. Ministry is, if anything, the fight for what things are. The fight for who we are so that other people don’t become enemies and objects.
Jesus was the only man who ever knew who he was. And since he was the only man who knew who he was he was the only man who ever knew other people.
He knew that a man lowered from the ceiling was not an interruption, a spectacle, or a nuisance. And the man who was paralyzed wasn’t, primarily, a paralytic.
To Jesus, the man coming down the ceiling was a sinner enslaved to sin. And the reason Jesus knew this man was a sinner enslaved to sin, and treated him as a sinner, was because Jesus knew He was the Forgiveness of Sins. He saw the situation correctly because He knew himself correctly.
Once you get over the bad news, it is a great honor to be a sinner. A sinner gets to be someone Christ came for. Christ only reveals his glory to sinners like us. No one else seems to see anything special. You, and your sin, are an occasion for Christ’s revelation of Himself as the One who Forgives Sin. Our greatest sins, are an occasion for another Advent, another Theophany of Christ.
It is fight to see ourselves and others as sinners so will we not seem them as enemies or objects. So that we can expect, at any moment, their sin to be an occasion where Sin is Forgiven. And Where Christ makes another Advent.