After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”
He could not get to Jesus “because of the crowd”. The crowd who had come to hear Jesus proclaim the good news – the same crowd who do not understand the good news when they see it enacted before them. In John’s gospel the crowd follows Jesus not because of what he says or what he does but because they were feed. The crowd can have some very different motivation for being at the side of Jesus.
Does the crowd stop me from seeing Jesus? Do I follow the crowd, subject my individuality to the community, and in the process miss Jesus in my every day life? Do I allow the crowd to define me, to limit me, and in the process I no longer worship Jesus but the communal identity?