1. When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at his home. 2. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.Â 4. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5. When Jesus saw this he grew angry, â€œWhy did you wreck my roof?Â Do you have any idea how much that cost to install?Â Do you know how many tables and chairs I had to make in my carpentry shop to pay for that roof?Â The reeds alone cost five talents.Â I had them carted in from Bethany.â€Â 6. The disciples had never seen Jesus so angry about his possessions.Â He continued, â€œThis house is my life.Â And the roof is the best part.â€Â The disciples fell silent.Â Â 7. â€œItâ€™s bad enough that you trash my private property, now you want me to heal you?â€ said Jesus, â€œAnd did you not see the stone walls around this house?â€Â â€œYes,â€ said the manâ€™s friends.Â â€œAre these not the stone walls common to the towns and villages of Galilee?”Â 8. â€œNo,â€ Jesus answered.Â â€œThis is a gated community.Â How did you get in?â€Â The manâ€™s friends grew silent.Â 9. Then Jesus turned and said to the paralytic, â€œBesides, canâ€™t you take care of your own health problems?Â Iâ€™m sure that your family can care for you, or maybe the synagogue can help out.â€Â 10. â€œNo, Lord,â€ answered the man’s friends.Â â€œThere is no one.Â His injuries are too severe.Â To whom else can we go?â€Â 11. â€œWell, not me,â€ said Jesus.Â â€œWhat would happen if I provided access to free health care for everyone?Â That would mean that people would not only get lazy and entitled, but they would take advantage of the system.Â 12. Besides, look at me: Iâ€™m healthy. And you know why?Â Because I worked hard for my money, and took care of myself.â€Â The paralyzed man then grew sad and he addressed Jesus.Â â€œBut I did work, Lord,â€ said the paralytic.Â â€œUntil an accident rendered me paralyzed.â€Â â€œYes,â€ said the manâ€™s friends. â€œHe worked very hard.â€Â 13. â€œWell,â€ said Jesus, â€œThatâ€™s just part of life, isnâ€™t it?â€Â â€œThen what am I to do, Lord?â€ said the paralytic.Â â€œI donâ€™t know.Â Why donâ€™t you sell your mat?â€Â 14. All in the crowd then grew sad.Â â€œActually, you know what you can do?” said Jesus. “You can reimburse me for my roof.Â Or Iâ€™ll sue you.” And all were amazed.Â 15. â€œWe have never seen anything like this,â€ said the crowd.
The Very Poorly Prepared Crowd
1. The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, â€œSend the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.â€ 2 But Jesus said to them, â€œWhy not give them something to eat?â€ They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fishâ€”unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.”Â 3 For there were about five thousand men. And Jesus said to his disciples, â€œYou know what?Â Youâ€™re right.Â Donâ€™t waste your time and shekels.Â It would be positively immoral for you to spend any of your hard-earned money for these people.Â They knew full well that they were coming to a deserted place, and should have relied on themselves and brought more food.Â As far as Iâ€™m concerned, itâ€™s every five thousand men for themselves.â€Â 4. The disciples were astonished by this teaching.Â â€œBut Lord,â€ said Thomas.Â â€œThe crowd will surely go hungry.â€Â Jesus was amazed at his hard-headedness.Â â€œThatâ€™s not my problem, Thomas.Â Better that their stomachs are empty than they become overly dependent on someone in authority to provide loaves and fishes for them on a regular basis.Â Where will it end?Â Will I have to feed them everyday?â€Â â€œNo, Lord,â€ said Thomas, â€œJust today.Â When they are without food.Â After they have eaten their fill, they will be healthy, and so better able to listen to your word and learn from you.â€Â Jesus was grieved at Thomasâ€™s answer.Â Jesus answered, “It is written: Thereâ€™s no such thing as a free lunch.â€Â So taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and took one loaf and one fish for himself, and gave the rest to the twelve, based on their previously agreed-upon contractual per diem.Â But he distributed none to the crowd, because they needed to be taught a lesson.Â So Jesus ate and he was satisfied.Â The disciples somewhat less so.Â “Delicious,” said Jesus.Â What was left over was gathered up and saved for Jesus, should he grow hungry in a few hours.Â The very poorly prepared crowd soon dispersed.
The Rich and Therefore Blessed Young Man
1. As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him and knelt before him, and asked, â€œGood Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?â€Â 2. And Jesus said to him, â€œWhat have you done so far?â€ 3. And he said to Him, â€œWell I was born into a wealthy family, got into a good school in Galilee because my parents donated a few thousand talents for a building with a nice reed roof, and now I have a high-paying job in the Roman treasury managing risk.â€ 4. Looking at him, Jesus felt an admiration for him, and said to him, â€œBlessed are you!Â For you are not far from being independently wealthy.” And the man was happy.Â Then Jesus said, “But there is one thing you lack: A bigger house in a gated community in Tiberias. Buy that and you will have a treasure indeed.Â And make sure you get a stone countertop for the kitchen.Â Those are really nice.”Â The disciples were amazed.Â 5. Peter asked him, â€œLord, shouldnâ€™t he sell all his possessions and give it to the poor?â€ Jesus grew angry.Â â€œGet behind me, Satan!Â He has earned it!â€Â Peter protested: â€œLord,â€ he said, â€œDid this man not have an unjust advantage?Â What about those who are not born into wealthy families, or who do not have the benefit of a good education, or who, despite all their toil, live in the poorer areas of Galilee, like Nazareth, your own home town?â€Â 6. â€œWell,â€ said Jesus, â€œfirst of all, thatâ€™s why I left Nazareth.Â There were too many poor people always asking me for charity.Â They were as numerous as the stars in the sky, and they annoyed me.Â Second, once people start spending again, like this rich young man, the Galilean economy will inevitably rebound, and eventually some of it will trickle down to the poor.Â Blessed are the patient!Â But giving the money away, especially if he canâ€™t write it off, is a big fat waste.â€Â The disciplesâ€™ amazement knew no bounds.Â â€œBut Lord,” they said, “what about the passages in both the Law and the Prophets that tell us to care for widows and orphans, for the poor, for the sick, for the refugee?Â What about the many passages in the Scriptures about justice?â€ 7. â€œThose are just metaphors,â€ said Jesus.Â â€œDonâ€™t take everything so literally.â€