Read Mark 2:1-5
1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” (NLT)
This familiar story reminds us of Jesus’ willingness to heal, the desperate faith of the sick man’s friends, the authority Jesus had to forgive sins, the reminder that such forgiveness was the primary blessing.
We can perhaps overlook what Jesus was actually doing here: he was rewarding queue jumping. None of us likes seeing people push ahead of us as we line up for whatever it is we are seeking. We figure these people are rude and inconsiderate. We hope someone in authority sternly warns them to get to the end of the queue. No special favours are going to be given to those who push in.
And we might add that we really don’t approve of people who wilfully damage other’s property in their excitement to do one thing or another. We might give them a lecture about respecting rights and taking a bit more care.
It seems Jesus wasn’t too bothered about such things in this instance. He didn’t tell the guys who dug a hole in the roof to get back to the end of the line. He didn’t warn them about damaging property. He simply forgave and healed the sick man. Perhaps a case of sheer love and compassion ignoring social conventions.
This ought not to encourage us to jump queues or dismantle the property of others. But it ought to encourage us to see Jesus as someone who put urgent human needs before good manners. To see him as someone who bent the rules in order to obey the rule of love.