The Bible tells us that Jesus grew up in Nazareth but spent most of his time in Capernaum. This little town north of Nazareth and resting on the Sea of Galilee was the place he called home.
Any ministry we are in, home is the one place we can really rest and lay our head at night. We strive to make it a place of security and peace away from the crazy, busy world.
In all His miracle working and teaching, I often forget that God was human and had places He ran to. Just like us. He longed to get away from the crowds and have a few moments to, as my mom used to say, “collect himself”.
In Mark 2 we see a scene that is well known in Sunday School story time. But today I was struck by the reality of where the story took place.
Read with me.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Either I never listened closely, or teachers never emphasized this point, but Jesus was “…at home…” when this took place. He didn’t just have a few guests over for a nice dinner, either. He was all about the business of teaching, encouraging, and healing. He was in the place that was His refuge and He had just returned from a long journey.
His friends were less than polite. Maybe their manners were not drilled into them as mine have been. They crowded into his space and took the roof right off his house! Talk about a bold move.
Jesus never reprimanded them for this, never looked twice, and probably had to fix the mess when they all left. But He did it. Without complaint or frustration or waving his finger in reprimand. He continued to teach them, to heal, and to love.
Our Jesus gave the one thing that was His solace that day to help a man find his way. To encourage his friends who felt helpless and hopeless. To show a crowd of the people gathered, and us, how to be act toward others. Welcoming. Loving. Humble.
It changed the life of one man and made an impression on many. Forever.
I think of all the times I have grudgingly opened my door of my home or my heart to someone and not really wanted to. I have thought about my own selfish desires or hid behind my insecurities of wanting a perfectly clean house or to be in a relaxed state before I welcome others in. I am convicted to remember that Christ understands this. He knows the desire for peace and solitude. But he calls us to give all we have to tell others about him. No matter what the cost. To show the world what Jesus love looks like every day and what really matters.
Even at home.
Love to you!