“1And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4And 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. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. 13And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them” (Mark 2:1-13)
Jesus returns to Capernaum and many come to hear his sermons. When the room becomes extremely crowded, the friends of a paralyzed man lower him down through a hole in the roof so that he too may see Jesus. Jesus tells the man that all his sins have been forgiven. The scholars present are puzzled as to how Jesus can claim to absolve a man’s sins, arguing that this is something only God has the authority to do. Jesus proves to them that humans are indeed also authorized to forgive sins. He heals the paralyzed man, who walks out the door on his own. Forgiveness is key: every person deserves it and can grant it. As Jesus and his followers sit to eat, they are joined by many tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees denounce this behavior, Jesus tells them: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13; Luke 5:32; Mark 2:17). The way to reclaim control over our lives is through perseverance, optimism, and moving forward without giving in to negative thoughts. Repentance—in both a physical and spiritual sense—is always possible, as is forgiving others.
Compassion is striving to love and relieve the pain of others, just as we would wish to relieve our own pains.