This spring the children’s Sunday School class has been studying the Gospel of Mark. Our goal is to read through the entire book! (Well, okay, almost the entire book…)
Mark is the most action-packed book of the Bible. Jesus heals people! He teaches! He argues! His life is in extreme danger and then the unthinkable happens: he is killed. But is that the end of the story?
So far we have read through Chapter 7 of Mark. We’ve seen how Jesus thumbs his nose at the religious leaders by performing healings on the day of rest and accusing them of doing more to keep people from knowing God than to help them know God.
One of kids’ favorite episodes was the story of when Jesus was teaching in someone’s house. An enormous crowd of people were listening with rapt attention, but the religious leaders were at the back of the crowd griping about Jesus. Friends of a paralyzed man wanted to bring him to Jesus for healing, but they couldn’t get through the crowd. So the went up to the roof, removed the ceiling tiles and lowered their friend down to Jesus where Jesus healed him and forgave him for the things he’d done that separated him from God (what we call “sin”). What is particularly striking is that the religious leaders, since they were standing at the back of the crowd, could have helped the paralyzed man. Instead, they blocked his way!
The lesson we learned is that we should be the sort of Christians who help other people get to Jesus, not the sort who keep people from him!