What does Mark 2:4 mean?
ESV: And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
NIV: 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.
NASB: And when they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and after digging an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralyzed man was lying.
CSB: Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and after digging through it, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
NLT: They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.
KJV: And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
NKJV: And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
Verse Commentary:
Four men bring their paralytic friend to an over-crowded house in hopes that Jesus will heal him. Literally every traditional access to Jesus is barred. So these loyal friends try something untraditional.

Homes in ancient Israel typically had exterior stairs leading to a flat rooftop terrace. A main beam ran the length of the interior and was reinforced by several posts. Rafters spanned crosswise from the beam to the perpendicular walls, and brushwood covered the spaces between. On top of the brushwood was a covering of clay mixed with straw. Ceilings stood about six feet above the floor.

Luke 5:19 says this house has clay formed into tiles, not pounded into a solid mass. So the four men tear up the tiles, make a hole through the brushwood, and lower the cot into the room. Undoubtedly, fleeing falling twigs and evading a man lowered on a bed to the floor gives the crowd more incentive to get out of the way than when his friends had tried to carry him through the doorway.

Despite that fact that Jesus' ministry is primarily to teach, and that His plans to rest are often interrupted by people seeking healing, He clearly loves it when people's faith drives them to take drastic measures to find Him. As seen later, the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:24–34) will have no legal or ceremonial right to touch Jesus' cloak, but in her faith she will dare, and Jesus will commend her. The Canaanite woman knew her needs were second-string compared to those of the Jews, but it didn't stop her from asking Jesus to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:21–28). Both women are held up to us as examples of bold faithfulness, which we are to emulate.
Verse Context:
Mark 2:1–12 records the first of five stories from the gospel of Mark which establish Jesus' claims to various spheres of authority. Jesus returns to Capernaum from His tour of Galilee, and the crowds regather. Here, Jesus declares that He has the power to forgive sins. A paralyzed man is brought into the crowded room through the roof. In response to the man's faith, Jesus declares his sins to be forgiven. When challenged by the scribes, Jesus proves His authority to forgive sins by healing the man. This event is also recorded in Matthew 9:2–8 and Luke 5:17–26.
Chapter Summary:
Mark chapter 2 follows the typical style of Mark's gospel with a rapid succession of stories. Jesus heals a man who cannot walk, but only after declaring the man's sins to have been forgiven. Jesus then calls Levi, one of the publically-reviled tax collectors, as a disciple and is seen eating with those the Pharisees view as ''sinners.'' Jesus then answers a challenge about fasting and defends His disciples when they violate the Pharisees' views on keeping the Sabbath. All of these events are met with some resistance from Jesus' critics. He responds in each case with a spiritual, reasonable defense.
Chapter Context:
In Mark chapter 1, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist then led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit where He was tempted by Satan. He also taught and healed in Capernaum and throughout Galilee. In chapter 2, having returned to Capernaum, Jesus displays authority over four particular areas: the forgiveness of sins, social traditions, extra-biblical religious traditions, and the Sabbath. In response, the Pharisees—legalistic religious leaders—escalate their antagonism toward Him, culminating in a direct condemnation of His teachings. This sets the scene for Mark 3:6 when the religious and national leadership first get the idea to destroy Jesus.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/26/2024 4:24:22 PM
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