This miracle has central importance for the early Christians; it is told of Peter and of Paul too (Acts 3, 1-11; 14, 8-18). In the Old Testament help for the weak is a symbol of the Messiah and the last days, Micah 4, 6s, Zephaniah 3, 19.
The paralytic is again the Galilean people. He is so weak that he cannot do anything to bring about the healing himself. But there are friends in need who demonstrate the weakness of the people to Jesus. In the parable Jesus’ help consists of pronouncing an order.
In the historical situation the governors Jesus help was to order people to help themselves. But Jesus did not just issue orders: he ensured that the people were legally and economically able to meet his orders.
The good policy of the government was followed by an economic boom which has been proved by historians. In this context I will later speak about the founding and populating of Tiberias.
The leper is the non-Jewish people of Galilee. Leprosy is a contagious disease; in the Ancient World it was incurable, and the leper was put under strong quarantine: the disease ostracizes the sick.
In parables leprosy and the leper symbolize ostracism, i.e. exclusion from the religious community (probably 2 Kgs. 5). The governor Jesus wants to take all the people under the authority of the monarch: he needs them all for the economic boom, strengthening the economic power of the tetrarchy.
Jesus wants to tear down the barriers erected by the Jewish aristocracy to exclude the non-Jewish Galilean from the profits of the economic prosperity.
Jesus cleanses the leper. The miracle is not that he can break the laws of nature: the wonder is that someone is suddenly able to give the same rights to the Galilean lower class as to the Jewish upper-class.
8. The measures taken by the governor according to Mark 1-2
Mark 1-2 keeps – as miracle stories – a catalogue of the measures taken by the governor Jesus.
The miracle narratives are not historical records of healings of individuals, but parables which describe the activity of Jesus for the benefit of the Galilean population.
First Jesus heals the Demoniac. The man symbolizes the people of Galilee: the unclean spirit which possesses the man is the Jewish aristocracy which justifies its supremacy by its alleged cleanness and the uncleanliness of the non-Jewish population.
The spirit gets to the point: Jesus has come to destroy the supremacy of the (Jewish) aristocracy in Galilee. The man, the people of Galilee, is freed from the jurisdiction of the aristocracy and comes under the authority of the monarchy.