Isaiah 43:18-25, Psalm 41, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, Mark 2:1-12
I would call this a "Sunday School passage" - a story that I distinctly remember hearing as a child, so vividly, picturing a man lowered through a roof!
"so many gathered around" - The huge number of crowds pressing in on Jesus constantly is a theme in Mark. Everywhere Jesus goes, people are wanting to see him, needing to be with him. What a pressure for Jesus! But we see how much people were eager for him, to soak him up.
"Which is easier" - Jesus will work with the complaining scribes - if they'd rather see miracles than authority - fine - but Jesus reminds them that he does have authority, even if they don't like it.
"We have never seen anything like this" - Another theme in Mark - Jesus' ministry is unique - unlike anything people have seen. Jesus is doing a new thing in a new way, and it doesn't go unnoticed.