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January 12, 2020 – The First Sunday After Epiphany – Word Travels Fast

Mark 2:1-22   Jesus heals a paralytic and eats with tax collectors

With the speed of the Gospel of Mark, the people learn that Jesus is home in Capernaum. And they gather, and gather. So many gather that they can’t all fit into the house, and some enterprising, compassionate, driven people climb up on the roof and make a way for their friend to be lowered down in front of Jesus. What Jesus says next inflames the room, or at least the scribes. He forgives the man his sins, and tells him to walk. They want to know who he is to forgive sins. The crowd is simply excited and amazed. They had never seen anything like this.

           Jesus walks to the sea, calls Levi to follow him. (Sometimes Levi becomes Matthew, sometimes James. There is no Levi listed among the 12.) Levi follows Jesus. And they have dinner at Levi’s house, which sets the rumor mill flying again. Then there is one last set of questions about fasting, and about not fasting.

           On one hand, it’s amazing how much ‘trouble’ Jesus gets into this quickly. On the other hand, it’s amazing how much the world is responding to what Jesus is doing. The Church doesn’t move this quickly. The Church is afraid to move quickly enough to make waves. What about us? Are we willing to move quickly enough to have people talking about us, questioning us? Do we have an answer? Jesus moves quickly and decisively. The Word is on the move.