I'm late posting today - I had a breakfast meeting this morning, and other stuff, and, well, it'll happen from time to time. Apologies all round.
I know, it's not good to be late when OFSTED have called, but that's me. Fortunately Jesus wasn't so dilatory.
Why an I talking about OFSTED? Because the religious equivalent have turned up, and are following Jesus around. This is nothing to worry about, as I'm sure they said, taking their places with their clipboards. You just carry on as normal. In fact, you could call it a compliment - it's certainly a sign that Jesus has come to the notice of the establishment, and those responsible for maintaining standards in religious education need to know what sort of stuff this new preacher is saying.
All was going well, as Jesus taught the crowds.. He was indoors today, and the house was crammed, with people looking in through the doors and windows to hear. A bunch of friends arrived late, because they were carrying a companion, ill for some considerable time with some dreadful condition that had left him paralysed.
It would have been hard enough for an individual to elbow his way through the crowd, let alone a group of people carrying a stretcher. So they improvised. Up on to the roof, make a hole - just a small one - lower the stretcher through ... left a bit .. steady!
There! Right in front of Jesus' nose. Job done.
Except...what did he just say? Your sins are forgiven?? Well, very nice, but that's not top of his list of urgent needs right now, is it?
And then an argument broke out with the inspectors. Sorry, you can't say that. We're going to have to put that down as blasphemy. We'll be making a full report. This entire ministry will have to be put in special measures.
The friends' hearts sank. No healing, just an argument. Isn't that typical!
But wait a minute, Jesus has a trump card to play. "Don't you believe I can forgive sins? Would a miracle help?"
What OFSTED didn't realise was that the miracle was the easy part. Forgiving sins - that was going to be painful.