With all due respect to those who sell cars for a living, there is a particular practice that drives me crazy. It looks like this. You go into the showroom with excited anticipation that you are going to buy a new car. Not long after you walk in, a sales representative walks up with a peppy, “Can I help you?” “Yes,” you say, “I’m looking to buy a new car.” You know what you want and know how much you want to spend. You pick one out and then the deal making starts. You sit with the representative and talk price (which is right on the window, but no one seems to pay any attention to that). But the representative has no authority to make the deal. He has to talk to his “manager” every time you ask a new question. Back and forth, back and forth. It seems endless and time wasting. It would be nice if you could just talk to the manager directly, but that is not allowed. You must work through the representative. It is painful. I mean it – painful. Then I read an article about how to get around this sales practice. Find out how much the dealer paid for the car you want, add 2% profit for the dealer and then deduct the Blue Book value of your trade in. Tell them that is what you will pay, take it or leave it. Sure, they will go to the manager, but the “shuttle diplomacy” negotiation is short circuited. I tried it a while back and it worked. I have done it that way ever since. So, what does this have to do with Jesus healing a paralytic? Quite a bit actually. Jesus does this in front of a bunch of religious scribes who think they are the mediators between God and the Jewish people. Jesus, heals the paralytic but also proves Jesus has the power to forgive sins. He does this to teach the scribes a lesson. They are no longer to be mediators between God and humanity. That job belongs to Jesus, who has God’s authority. And all this happens in front of a big crowd. It must have been quite a scene. Come and hear about it Sunday January 28 at 8:30 and 11 when Pastor Jeff preaches “Healed!” based on Mark 2: 1-12. We will look forward to seeing you.