Jesus healing/forgiving of the paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12) invites us to dig deeper. Just as the four friends engaged in the risk and trouble to dig through the rooftop in order to lower their friend to Jesus, Jesus was willing to engage in the risk and trouble to dig deeper into the lives of his listeners. And just as breaking up the roof must have made a real mess and drawn the ire of those standing below, so Jesus words caused a commotion. But he wanted to dig deeper.
The four friends could have been content to continue in their act of service for their friend, carrying him around day after day. Sure, he still would have been paralyzed. But they would do what they could. And Jesus could have been content to merely heal the body of the paralyzed man, entertaining the crowd and inviting another thousand or so illnesses to crowd around him. Sure, the man still would have died in his sins, facing eternal punishment. And with that, the scribes would have been content. But Jesus wasn’t.
So he said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” He dug deeper. He was not content with social action. He was not content with physical relief. He penetrated to the heart of the matter, a depth with which the religious types were not comfortable. They said, “Why does this man speak like this? It is blasphemy. No one can forgive sins but God alone.” And they would have been right, had Jesus not been the One and Only Son of God. But they needed to dig deeper. And they didn’t.
The paralyzed man walked out free and forgiven. The scribes sat there, paralyzed.