At Home When the Roof Caved In (Hunch 15)
A few days later, when Jesus came back to Capernaum, the people heard he was home. So many gathered there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat on which the paralysed man lay.
Capernaum became Jesus' home town. Jesus' mother and brothers and sisters lived there. And Jesus, by now, was in his late 20s. Mark doesn't tell us but maybe Joseph had died. What Mark says is that Jesus was at home in Capernaum with his family, in the family home. We shouldn't be afraid of thinking about Jesus' home life - about His relationship with His brothers and sisters, and we shouldn't be afraid of thinking about what may have happened to Joseph either. If the Son of God was happy to come and be born into a family, He was happy to take on all that that means including family relationships. He experienced being at "home".
It is as clear as day that Jesus enjoyed doing His teaching work. Here Mark describes the situation as He taught them a few stories. The stories are called parables; that means they are like Halley’s Comet - they come back again in a slightly different way when you listen a second time - and all the people were sitting there just listening, and the doors and windows were all filled up with people. Everyone was enjoying themselves and having a really great time, or almost everyone.
And then, four men arrived carrying a paralytic - in our day it would one person pushing a guy in a wheelchair, but in those days it had to be a stretcher with four stretcher-bearers. Like the leper, the paralytic and his friends were desperate. What paralysed person isn’t fed up with being in such a condition?
I have a hunch. I think this was also a funny situation. It wouldn't surprise me if all the people there, including Jesus, started to hold their sides because they were in stitches. The man was being lowered from a ceiling which was no more. That was the very funny side to this situation which Mark has made into a story. Why not read it again for yourself and look at what the Bible says before and after as well. Try and figure our how Mark is trying to tell his story. Try and understand what he is trying to say. Try and imagine what the people there would have thought when the ceiling caved in?
And remember to ask yourself: whose house was this anyway? Who would have to call the carpenter to get that roof fixed?