Κυριακή 4 Μαρτίου 2018

2nd Sunday of Great Lent: Direct Knowledge of God (St Gregory Palamas) & the healing of the paralytic

Direct Knowledge of God ~ St Gregory Palamas

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi
Father Spyridon

2nd Sunday of Great Lent: St Gregory Palamas 
Orthodox Church in America
This Sunday was originally dedicated to Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23). After his glorification in 1368, a second commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas (November 14) was appointed for the Second Sunday of Great Lent as a second “Triumph of Orthodoxy.”
Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, was born in the year 1296 in Constantinople. Saint Gregory’s father became a prominent dignitiary at the court of Andronicus II Paleologos (1282-1328), but he soon died, and Andronicus himself took part in the raising and education of the fatherless boy. Endowed with fine abilities and great diligence, Gregory mastered all the subjects which then comprised the full course of medieval higher education. The emperor hoped that the youth would devote himself to government work. But Gregory, barely twenty years old, withdrew to Mount Athos in the year 1316 (other sources say 1318) and became a novice in the Vatopedi monastery under the guidance of the monastic Elder Saint Nicodemus of Vatopedi (July 11). There he was tonsured and began on the path of asceticism. A year later, the holy Evangelist John the Theologian appeared to him in a vision and promised him his spiritual protection. Gregory’s mother and sisters also became monastics.
After the demise of the Elder Nicodemus, Saint Gregory spent eight years of spiritual struggle under the guidance of the Elder Nicephorus, and after the latter’s death, Gregory transferred to the Lavra of Saint Athanasius (July 5). Here he served in the trapeza, and then became a church singer. But after three years, he resettled in the small skete of Glossia, striving for a greater degree of spiritual perfection. The head of this monastery began to teach the young man the method of unceasing prayer and mental activity, which had been cultivated by monastics, beginning with the great desert ascetics of the fourth century: Evagrius Pontikos and Saint Macarius of Egypt (January 19). 

Elder Nicodemus (icon)
Later on, in the eleventh century Saint Simeon the New Theologian (March 12) provided detailed instruction in mental activity for those praying in an outward manner, and the ascetics of Athos put it into practice. The experienced use of mental prayer (or prayer of the heart), requiring solitude and quiet, is called “Hesychasm” (from the Greek “hesychia” meaning calm, silence), and those practicing it were called “hesychasts.”
During his stay at Glossia the future hierarch Gregory became fully embued with the spirit of hesychasm and adopted it as an essential part of his life. In the year 1326, because of the threat of Turkish invasions, he and the brethren retreated to Thessalonica, where he was then ordained to the holy priesthood.
Saint Gregory combined his priestly duties with the life of a hermit. Five days of the week he spent in silence and prayer, and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come out to his people. He celebrated divine services and preached sermons. For those present in church, his teaching often evoked both tenderness and tears. Sometimes he visited theological gatherings of the city’s educated youth, headed by the future patriarch, Isidore. After he returned from a visit to Constantinople, he found a place suitable for solitary life near Thessalonica the region of Bereia. Soon he gathered here a small community of solitary monks and guided it for five years. 

In 1331 the saint withdrew to Mt. Athos and lived in solitude at the skete of Saint Sava, near the Lavra of Saint Athanasius. In 1333 he was appointed Igumen of the Esphigmenou monastery in the northern part of the Holy Mountain. In 1336 the saint returned to the skete of Saint Sava, where he devoted himself to theological works, continuing with this until the end of his life.
In the 1330s events took place in the life of the Eastern Church which put Saint Gregory among the most significant universal apologists of Orthodoxy, and brought him great renown as a teacher of hesychasm.
About the year 1330 the learned monk Barlaam had arrived in Constantinople from Calabria, in Italy. He was the author of treatises on logic and astronomy, a skilled and sharp-witted orator, and he received a university chair in the capital city and began to expound on the works of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3), whose “apophatic” (“negative”, in contrast to “kataphatic” or “positive”) theology was acclaimed in equal measure in both the Eastern and the Western Churches. Soon Barlaam journeyed to Mt. Athos, where he became acquainted with the spiritual life of the hesychasts. Saying that it was impossible to know the essence of God, he declared mental prayer a heretical error. Journeying from Mount Athos to Thessalonica, and from there to Constantinople, and later again to Thessalonica, Barlaam entered into disputes with the monks and attempted to demonstrate the created, material nature of the light of Tabor (i.e. at the Transfiguration). He ridiculed the teachings of the monks about the methods of prayer and about the uncreated light seen by the hesychasts.

Saint Gregory, at the request of the Athonite monks, replied with verbal admonitions at first. But seeing the futility of such efforts, he put his theological arguments in writing. Thus appeared the “Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts” (1338). Towards the year 1340 the Athonite ascetics, with the assistance of the saint, compiled a general response to the attacks of Barlaam, the so-called “Hagiorite Tome.” At the Constantinople Council of 1341 in the church of Hagia Sophia Saint Gregory Palamas debated with Barlaam, focusing upon the nature of the light of Mount Tabor. On May 27, 1341 the Council accepted the position of Saint Gregory Palamas, that God, unapproachable in His Essence, reveals Himself through His energies, which are directed towards the world and are able to be perceived, like the light of Tabor, but which are neither material nor created. The teachings of Barlaam were condemned as heresy, and he himself was anathemized and fled to Calabria.
But the dispute between the Palamites and the Barlaamites was far from over. To these latter belonged Barlaam’s disciple, the Bulgarian monk Akyndinos, and also Patriarch John XIV Kalekos (1341-1347); the emperor Andronicus III Paleologos (1328-1341) was also inclined toward their opinion. Akyndinos, whose name means “one who inflicts no harm,” actually caused great harm by his heretical teaching. Akyndinos wrote a series of tracts in which he declared Saint Gregory and the Athonite monks guilty of causing church disorders. The saint, in turn, wrote a detailed refutation of Akyndinos’ errors. The patriarch supported Akyndinos and called Saint Gregory the cause of all disorders and disturbances in the Church (1344) and had him locked up in prison for four years. In 1347, when John the XIV was replaced on the patriarchal throne by Isidore (1347-1349), Saint Gregory Palamas was set free and was made Archbishop of Thessalonica. 

In 1351 the Council of Blachernae solemnly upheld the Orthodoxy of his teachings. But the people of Thessalonica did not immediately accept Saint Gregory, and he was compelled to live in various places. On one of his travels to Constantinople the Byzantine ship fell into the hands of the Turks. Even in captivity, Saint Gregory preached to Christian prisoners and even to his Moslem captors. The Hagarenes were astonished by the wisdom of his words. Some of the Moslems were unable to endure this, so they beat him and would have killed him if they had not expected to obtain a large ransom for him. A year later, Saint Gregory was ransomed and returned to Thessalonica.
Saint Gregory performed many miracles in the three years before his death, healing those afflicted with illness. On the eve of his repose, Saint John Chrysostom appeared to him in a vision. With the words “To the heights! To the heights!” Saint Gregory Palamas fell asleep in the Lord on November 14, 1359. In 1368 he was canonized at a Constantinople Council under Patriarch Philotheus (1354-1355, 1364-1376), who compiled the Life and Services to the saint. 

See also about st Gregory Palamas from the Holy Orthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe & Angola

The Gospel of the Day 
(For Russian, Portuguese, French and Arabic please scroll down)

Mark 2:1-12 - Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi

Icons from here

2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 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. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

“My son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” 

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi

Today, brothers and sisters, on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent — the day on which we celebrate and commemorate St. Gregory Palamas — we have before us a man who is paralyzed, and who has friends that care for him and bring him to the Lord to be healed.
Now, as in all scripture, we should be careful. Read the scriptures slowly and carefully. See what the Lord says to you, see where you fit into this scripture, see where you have vices — or perhaps where by the grace of God, God has helped you in some thing and you have some virtue — not of your own worth, but because God has helped you. This is how we should read the scriptures.
This is not just history, and something that happened a long time ago; this story is given for our edification. The Lord healed many thousands of people, and we don’t have very many records of His healings. So there must be something important about the way this man was healed for us to take note of.

He comes to Capernaum, and He is very popular in these days; this is still in the – shall we say, the honeymoon period; all the common people Him. The scribes and the Pharisees didn’t like Him, but they couldn’t move against Him, and even some of them were somewhat taken by Him because of all the buzz that was around Him. Everyone was saying, “Can you believe what’s happening? Everyone is being healed, and this man is speaking with such authority…” At the beginning of His ministry, there were many who loved Him and wanted to throng about Him (who would later leave Him, and even be accessories to His being slandered and murdered), and this is the case today. There are so many about Him that people can’t even fit in the house where He is preaching. They are all about, outside the door, and He preached to them.
There is a man who is paralyzed, and he has asked his friends to help him. He has four that will take him on his bed, and want to bring him to Christ. Because of the press (the crowd of people), he couldn’t get to Jesus.
What is this press, brothers and sisters?
This "press" is often mentioned in other healings; this press is the obstacles that we encounter in our Christian life. We encounter great obstacles. Now in the case of this man who was paralyzed, he wouldn’t have the strength to press through a group of people on his own, and even with help it would be immensely difficult; how can you carry a stretcher through a huge crowd of people? It is not possible.
What did they do? They overcame the press by climbing onto the roof.
A roof is high above all things. The scripture uses this analogy just as it uses mountains sometimes, to say that this is how we should be in our Christian life. We should look up — we should be thinking of spiritual things, not of carnal things, not of just daily things — and we should elevate our mind — to contemplate pure things, and things that God wishes us to know. These people got up on the roof. So of course it was a practical act to get up on the roof, so that they could break the roof tiles and let him down, and it was rather ingenious actually. But it is also an indication of how we should be, brothers and sisters.

You know, we encounter the press, and we stop in our tracks. Let’s face it: this society is a very difficult one for a Christian to live in, because there is such coldness, and it infects all of us. There is such materialism, there is such hardheartedness, there is such wishy-washy-ness as far as what to believe. And even among the Orthodox, there is this sort-of mixing of the world with holiness — and, of course, what becomes of hot and cold? It becomes lukewarm. And the Lord hates lukewarm.

The whole world is lukewarm. And we live in this difficulty. This is the press. It’s quite hard for us to live in this world. it is difficult for us to get past the press. And why should we get past the press? Because we’re paralyzed too. We have spiritual paralysis. We have spiritual blindness. If any man can look inside himself with any amount of honesty at all, he sees that he is really broken inside, incomplete. There are terrible sadnesses that happen in our life. There are terrible things that we just can’t cope with completely.
And I say, if any person thinks that life is easy, and that things are really okay, than I say that you should really be afraid, because God is far from you. According to the fathers, if we’re not tempted, then we’re not being saved. Because we ARE incomplete, and we are weak creatures.
Oh yes, we have the image of God within us, and God has promised that He will be with us until the end, that He will complete the good work which has begun in us. But in the meanwhile, as we are approaching that goal, there is so much about us that is so pitiable. And we must get past the press if we are truly to get any kind of relief. You know, the press makes a lot of noise, and there is a lot of distraction, and this very well describes the Christian life today.
how do we get past the press? Get up on the roof.
Not just get up on the roof, but there must be labor involved in the Christian life, brothers and sisters. You know that one of my pet phrases, or pet ideas, is that the greatest heresy of all time is that the Christian life can be fought without labor, that salvation can be gathered and garnered without labor. This is the great heresy of our age — it has been around now for quite some time — that we can actually be saved without labor. Oh no, it takes great labor on our part to be saved; it takes effort for us to push by the press; it takes effort for us to get on the roof, to elevate our minds to things above, not to things below, not to carnal things, not to just day-to-day living.

I think day-to-day living is like a narcotic in our day; it is easy to lose track of holy things, to say “I haven’t read scripture for so long, I forget my prayers, I have the wrong ideas, the wrong motivations,” and to just sort of flow through life. We must fight through these things, get on the roof, have our minds elevated and break through the roof tiles — which is effort. There is great effort involved in breaking through a roof.
So then, after these men had broken through the roof, they let the man down. What a spectacle that must have been. This man was not afraid to make his disability known to all. There must have been some people who thought that this was really craziness, and who might have laughed. But he was unafraid, because he wanted to be healed.when the Lord saw him, because of his efforts, He said “My son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Well the man came because he was palsied — he couldn’t walk — and the Lord said “Thy sins be forgiven.” He did this for a reason.
Of course, what is the source of all of our ills? Our sins!
So the Lord heals that which is the man’s most pressing need first. And of course, he knew that the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the hypocrites, would think in their minds, “How can this man forgive sins? This is blasphemy,” and they would chalk it up in their notebooks and think, “We’re going to get this man.”

The Lord then said something quite interesting, something you should take note of. It seems sort of obvious in one way, but there is a very deep meaning in another. “Which is easier to say: ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee,’ or ‘Take up thy bed and walk?’”
Well, it’s easy to say “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” or something that you can’t see internally, but if you say “Take up thy bed and walk” — well, the man had better get up, or else Jesus would be exposed as a charlatan. Well, that’s rather obvious, but there is a deep meaning here, brothers and sisters. Not an obvious meaning; you have to think a little bit.

Photo from here

The Lord raised the man up from his bed – “Take up thy bed and walk, and go unto thy house.” The reason he did this is to show that He, indeed, has power: He can raise the palsied man, He can give the man without eyes sight, he can cause the deaf to hear, he can raise the dead. These are tangible things that we see. The Lord did this because of our weakness.
We cannot see our sins being forgiven. It’s not something that you can have evidence of. Sometimes there is evidence of the Lord healing a man in terms of, let’s say if a man is an alcoholic and he is able to no longer have the demon of drunkenness, or some other such thing, but for the most part, when our sins are forgiven, the Lord knows, and we know, but it is not an obvious thing. That’s why the Lord said “Which is easier to say: ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee,’ or ‘Take up thy bed and walk?’” He was trying to show us “I can do both.” Yes, I can say “thy sins be forgiven,” and it is not an obvious thing, but I can also raise up the palsied man.
There is another meaning as well. The man’s sins were forgiven AND his body was made whole. Jesus Christ’s resurrection affects the whole man. Every aspect of our personality is affected by the resurrection. This is why a Christian should not feel defeated by anything in his life — because the resurrection applies to everything. Now this is not to have some sort of Pollyanna view of the world and think that because we’re Christians we’ll be rich, famous, athletic and handsome. That might not be the case.

But Jesus Christ is interested in anything that goes on in our life. We must bring all the difficulties of our life to him. We as Christians don’t do this very much; we suffer with our worries, our concerns, and I know many of you and I know that your concerns are not frivolous ones, they are not worldly concerns; they are spiritual things. But you must believe in the resurrection, and the one who truly believes applies the resurrection, with all of its implications, to himself, and his life’s circumstances.
If Jesus Christ can raise up the palsied man, certainly all the other things that He says must be true — not just that He can raise the dead at the end of the age; He’s going to make you alive now. The kingdom of God is within you. Now, not later. This is the meaning of having the man be healed both of his sins and of his palsy, of his bodily ailments.

Now how do we attain this healing, brothers and sisters? By effort. There is no substitute whatsoever for effort.
If a Christian does not struggle, does not strive, does not point himself to Jerusalem and not look back, does not try to ascend, as it were, to the roof, and labor, then he will not be changed. Or, perhaps, he’ll bear fruit, but very little.

May God grant that we would labor, past all of the difficulties in our lives, past all of the frustrations, all of the distractions, all of our sinfulness, all of our bad habits that are so difficult to change, all that press, all that crowd — that we labor past all that, and set our minds on things above, on holiness, on the purpose of our life, which is intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ.
And this intimate knowledge is only possible if we become like Him. We must become like Him to know Him.
This is why we must labor, brothers and sisters. Not because there are the Ten Commandments, the Law and all the rest; this is not the reason we must labor.
The reason we must labor is that Jesus Christ wants us to know Him, intimately, He wants us to be healed of every single palsied condition, of every blindness, of every black spot in our souls, of every imperfection, so that we can gaze upon Him, not through a glass, darkly, but face to face – and not in shame, but in indescribably joy.
This is how He wants us to know Him. And the only way to know Him is to become like Him. This is why we labor for virtue.
May God help us to labor, and for the rest of this Lent also to struggle so that when we come to the Pascha, the Lord would touch us in a very special, unique way that we can’t even imagine and understand, and strengthen us. May God help you.

Please, see also: The Uncreated Light

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son, 2nd Sunday of Triodion in the Orthodox Church

The Gospel of the Day in Russian, Portuguese, French and Arabic

Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi

От Марка 2:1-12
Иисус исцеляет парализованного и прощает его грехи

2 Через несколько дней Иисус снова пришел в Капернаум, и в городе стало известно, что Он дома. 2 К Нему собралось столько людей, что не было места даже в дверях. Когда Иисус возвещал слово, 3 четверо мужчин принесли к Нему парализованного. 4 Видя, что из-за толпы к Иисусу им не подойти, они поднялись на крышу, разобрали ее и спустили сверху циновку, на которой лежал больной. 5 Иисус, увидев их веру, сказал парализованному:
– Сын Мой, прощаются тебе твои грехи!
6 Некоторые из учителей Закона, которые сидели там, подумали про себя: 7 «Что Он такое говорит? Это кощунство! Кто, кроме Бога, может прощать грехи?»
8 Иисус тотчас узнал духом Своим, о чем они думают.
– Что у вас за мысли такие в сердце? – спросил Он. 9 – Что легче, сказать парализованному: «Прощаются тебе грехи» – или сказать ему: «Встань, возьми циновку и ходи»? 10 Но чтобы вы знали, что Сын Человеческий имеет власть прощать грехи на земле …

И тут Он обратился к парализованному:
11 – Говорю тебе: встань, возьми свою циновку и иди домой.
12 Больной тут же, на глазах у всех, встал, взял циновку и вышел. Это очень изумило всех, и люди славили Бога, говоря:
– Такого мы никогда еще не видели


Marcos 2:1-12
O paralítico de Cafarnaum

2 E, alguns dias depois, entrou outra vez em Cafarnaum, e soube-se que estava em casa. 2 E logo se ajuntaram tantos, que nem ainda nos lugares junto à porta eles cabiam; e anunciava-lhes a palavra. 3 E vieram ter com ele, conduzindo um paralítico, trazido por quatro. 4 E, não podendo aproximar-se dele, por causa da multidão, descobriram o telhado onde estava e, fazendo um buraco, baixaram o leito em que jazia o paralítico. 5 E Jesus, vendo-lhes a fé, disse ao paralítico: Filho, perdoados estão os teus pecados. 6 E estavam ali assentados alguns dos escribas, que arrazoavam em seu coração, dizendo: 7 Por que diz este assim blasfêmias? Quem pode perdoar pecados, senão Deus? 8 E Jesus, conhecendo logo em seu espírito que assim arrazoavam entre si, lhes disse: Por que arrazoais sobre estas coisas em vosso coração? 9 Qual é mais fácil? Dizer ao paralítico: Estão perdoados os teus pecados, ou dizer-lhe: Levanta-te, e toma o teu leito, e anda? 10 Ora, para que saibais que o Filho do Homem tem na terra poder para perdoar pecados (disse ao paralítico), 11 a ti te digo: Levanta-te, e toma o teu leito, e vai para tua casa. 12 E levantou-se e, tomando logo o leito, saiu em presença de todos, de sorte que todos se admiraram e glorificaram a Deus, dizendo: Nunca tal vimos.


Marc 2:1-12
Jésus guérit un malade et pardonne ses péchés

2 Quelques jours plus tard, Jésus se rendit de nouveau à Capernaüm. On apprit qu’il était à la maison[a]. 2 Une foule s’y rassembla si nombreuse qu’il ne restait plus de place, pas même devant la porte; et Jésus leur annonçait la Parole de Dieu. 3 On lui amena un paralysé porté par quatre hommes. 4 Mais ils ne purent pas le transporter jusqu’à Jésus, à cause de la foule. Alors ils montèrent sur le toit, défirent la toiture de la maison au-dessus de l’endroit où se trouvait Jésus et, par cette ouverture, firent glisser le brancard sur lequel le paralysé était couché[b].
5 Lorsqu’il vit la foi de ces gens, Jésus dit au paralysé: Mon enfant, tes péchés te sont pardonnés.
6 Or, il y avait, assis là, quelques spécialistes de la Loi qui raisonnaient ainsi en eux-mêmes: 7 Comment cet homme ose-t-il parler ainsi? Il blasphème! Qui peut pardonner les péchés si ce n’est Dieu seul?
8 Jésus sut aussitôt, en son esprit, les raisonnements qu’ils se faisaient en eux-mêmes; il leur dit: Pourquoi raisonnez-vous ainsi en vous-mêmes? 9 Qu’est-ce qui est le plus facile? Dire au paralysé: «Tes péchés te sont pardonnés», ou dire: «Lève-toi, prends ton brancard et marche»? 10 Eh bien, vous saurez que le Fils de l’homme a, sur la terre, le pouvoir de pardonner les péchés.
11 Alors il déclara au paralysé: Je te l’ordonne: lève-toi, prends ton brancard, et rentre chez toi!
12 Aussitôt, cet homme se leva, prit son brancard, et sortit devant tout le monde.

Tous en furent stupéfaits et rendirent gloire à Dieu en disant: Nous n’avons jamais rien vu de pareil!


ﻣﺮﻗﺲ 2:1-12
يَسُوعُ يَشْفِي مَشلُولا

2 وَبَعْدَ عِدَّةِ أيّامٍ، عادَ يَسُوعُ إلَى كَفْرِناحُومَ، وَانتَشَرَتْ أخبارُ عَودَتِهِ. 2 فَاجتَمَعَ كَثِيرٌ مِنَ النّاسِ حَتَّى لَمْ يَعُدْ هُناكَ مُتَّسَعٌ لأحَدٍ، وَلا حَتَّى خارِجَ البابِ. وَكانَ يَسُوعُ يُكَلِّمُ النّاسَ بِكَلِمَةِ اللهِ. 3 فَجاءُوا إلَيهِ بِمَشلُولٍ يَحْمِلُهُ أربَعَةُ رِجالٍ. 4 لَكِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَتَمَكَّنُوا مِنْ إدخالِهِ إلَى يَسُوعَ بِسَبَبِ الازْدِحامِ. فَكَشَفوا السَّقْفَ فَوقَ المَكانِ الَّذِي كانَ يَسُوعُ فِيهِ، وَفَتَحوا السَّقفَ، وَأنزَلُوا الفِراشَ الَّذِي كانَ المَشلُولُ راقِداً عَلَيهِ. 5 فَلَمّا رَأى يَسُوعُ إيمانَهُمْ، قالَ لِلمَشلُولِ: «يا بُنَيَّ، مَغفُورَةٌ خَطاياكَ.»
6 وَكانَ بَعضُ مُعَلِّمِي الشَّرِيعَةِ يَجلِسُونَ هُناكَ، فَأخَذُوا يُفَكِّرُونَ فِي داخِلِهِمْ: 7 «لِماذا يَتَحَدَّثُ هَذا الرَّجُلُ بِهَذِهِ الطَّرِيقَةِ؟ إنَّهُ يُهِينُ اللهَ بِكَلامِهِ! فَمَنْ غَيْرُ اللهِ وَحدِهُ يَستَطِيْعُ أنْ يَغفِرَ الخَطايا؟»
8 فَعَرَفَ يَسُوعُ أفكارَ قُلُوبِهِمْ، وَقالَ لَهُمْ: «لِماذا تُفَكِّرُونَ بِهَذِا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ؟ 9 فَأيُّ الأمرَيْنِ أسهَلُ: أنْ يُقالَ لِلمَشلولِ: ‹خَطاياكَ مَغفُورَةٌ› أمْ أنْ يُقالَ: ‹انهَضْ وَاحْمِلْ فِراشَكَ وَامشِ؟› 10 لَكِنِّي سَأُرِيكُمْ أنَّ ابنَ الإنسانِ يَملِكُ سُلطاناً عَلَى الأرْضِ لِمَغفِرَةِ الخَطايا.» وَقالَ لِلرَّجُلِ المَشلُولِ: 11 «أنا أقُولُ لَكَ، انهَضْ وَاحْمِلْ فِراشَكَ وَاذْهَبْ إلَى بَيتِكَ!»
12 فَنَهَضَ وَحَمَلَ فِراشَهُ فَوراً وَمَشَىْ عَلَىْ مَرأىً مِنَ الجَمِيعِ، فَاندَهَشَ الجَمِيعُ وَمَجَّدُوا اللهَ وَقالوا: «لَمْ نَرَ شَيئاً كَهَذا مِنْ قَبلُ!»

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