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Demonstrating the Truth
Jesus and the Ethos of Demonstration
The Apostle Peter probably told the story on many occasions as he preached his way to Rome in the decades that followed the earthly ministry of Jesus. Mark, a close companion of Peter during his journeys, recorded Peter’s account of this event in the New Testament Gospel that bears Mark’s name. The event to which I refer is the miraculous healing of a man who could not walk, probably paralyzed for many years, if not from birth, recorded in Mark, chapter two. There are many healing miracles recorded in the Scriptures, but this one has a special twist in that this miracle illustrates, in a dramatic fashion and early in the ministry of Jesus, a key method our Lord himself utilized in communicating and confirming the center points of his message.
As Mark relates the story, Jesus had already garnered a large following that made it difficult for him to move around in populated areas. In Capernaum, Jesus began to teach in a local home, and a huge crowd quickly gathered so that there was no room left even outside the door. Reports of Jesus’ healing activities certainly added to the interest, and it is likely that many in attendance were anxious for a touch from this extraordinary rabbi. Four men in particular sought healing from Jesus, not for themselves, but for their companion who was unable to walk. They could not get though the crowd to Jesus inside, so they climbed up on top of the structure, burrowed through the roof, and lowered the “paralytic” down on his mat to Jesus in the room below...
Craig Hazen, is the founder and director of the M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics and Professor of Comparative Religion and Apologetics at Biola University in Southern California. He is a recipient of the Fischer Award, the highest faculty honor at Biola. Dr. Hazen is the editor of the philosophy journal, Philosophia Christi. He is also the author of numerous articles such as Science Never Fails, The Origins of American Metaphysical Religion and God and the Law. In addition to authoring many articles and chapters in books and journals, Dr. Hazen is the author of the The Village Enlightenment in America and Five Sacred Crossings. He earned both his Ph.D. and his M.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara.