The Greater Gift

In today’s reading, we hear a story that we have all heard a lot, and those are always fun stories. Stories that are familiar, stories we love.  Listen to part of it, Mark 2: 1-5:

1 When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3 Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

roof-paralyticYou’ve probably heard sermons about friendship, how far we should be willing to go to help our friends meet Jesus.  Perhaps about the power of their faith.  If you were to keep reading this text, you’d see that Jesus tells the man that is paralyzed to get up and walk, showing His power to heal those that are sick.

But when I reading this morning, something else spoke to me.  Notice what the very first thing Jesus does is.  He says – your sins are forgiven.  In fact when we see Him heal this man, that healing is really evidence that He has the power to forgive sins.

Yes, we do see healing take place. But we see in this text what the greater gift is. Forgiveness.

Of all the things that Jesus can give you, the one that we may be most tempted to take for granted is that greater gift.  Forgiveness.

Life is not perfect.  There are troubles. There are hurts.  There is pain. There is loss. There many things that really do bring troubles to our soul and to live our lives. And hurt. And Jesus wants to heal them.  He is the healer of the nation.

But first, He wants to heal our greatest need and hurt.  Hear those words of Jesus.  Today, your sins are forgiven.  Hear that again.  Today, in and through Jesus, you are forgiven.

You may face the same trials today that you faced yesterday.  You may face the same hurts.  The same pains. The same temptations.

But hear it again.  You are forgiven.  For real.  You are.  Through the power and love of Jesus, you are forgiven.  The mistakes of the past, the stuff you’ve done wrong, the things that weigh you down, you can let them go.  Because Jesus has.

Today, no matter what has happened in your life, He offers you the greater gift.  Forgiveness.

Today, may we live in that gift.

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