The Gospel from Monday the second week of Advent is the gospel of the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof. It is presented to us in Advent because, among the many prophecies about the Messiah, would be that the lame would walk. But the Gospel also helps us to focus on Jesus’ central mission for us, and it is very provocatively expressed in this Gospel.
The Gospel passage contains a rather peculiar and somewhat awkward moment. Jesus looks at a paralyzed man and says to him, As for you, your sins are forgiven (Lk 5:20). What a strange thing to say to a paralyzed man.
The Pharisees and scribes of course are all worked up for other reasons, but their reason is not ours, we know that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Let us stay focused on the strange thing to say to a paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven you.
One of us modern folk might be tempted to tap Jesus on the shoulder and say, “Ah excuse me, Lord, this man is paralyzed, his problem is paralysis, that’s what he needs healing for.”
Of course Jesus is not blind or unintelligent, knows this. But looking at a paralyzed man he does not see the paralysis as his most serious problem. The man has a far more serious problem, his sin.