[My reaction to the readings for March 20-22 of the One Year Bible]
Readers will recall that in Matthew and Mark, it was a big deal for Jesus to control his introduction to the world as Christ. In fact, there are a handful of suggestions that Jesus only revealed his nature to the disciples. Now consider this from Luke 4.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Well, okay then. Not exactly secretive. Jesus does tell a leper to keep his healing quiet, but to nonetheless go to the priest and give the appropriate offering that we’ve already covered from Numbers.
Another story in today’s Gospel reading is the story of some guys who can’t get their buddy to Jesus, so they cut a whole in the roof. They lower the man down to Jesus, obviously to be healed, but Jesus decides to make a bit of a show.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Very confrontational. “Hey, you guys over there, you got a problem? Well, watch this.”