Who is this guy Jesus?
It sounds like a weird question, for us, the initiated. We are in, so we get Jesus.
But as our story begins, to his audience Jesus was just another rabbi calling people to “follow him” (2:14; 1:17). Frankly, to more and more people today Jesus is also just another religious teacher, a wise man, one more path up the proverbial mountain of religious options, a mountain where all religious paths ultimately lead to the same place and to the same God whatever you may choose to call Him or Her or It or Them.
Who exactly Jesus was is precisely the question asked in various ways today:
Jesus saw their faith, and said to the paralyzed man, “Child, your sins are forgiven!” How dare the fellow speak like this?” grumbled some of the legal experts among themselves. “It’s blasphemy! Who can forgive sins except God?” (2:5-6)
They [Pharisees] said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (2:16)
People came and said to Jesus, “Look here: John’s disciples are fasting, and so are the Pharisees’ disciples; why aren’t yours?” (2:18)
“Look here,” said the Pharisees to him, “why are they doing something illegal on the sabbath?” (2:24)
This man named Jesus. He is not like the rabbis, the religious leaders, the masters we are normally used to.