Today we are going to be looking at Mark 2:1-12. It is entitled Jesus Heals a Paralytic. Also, this past Friday I did a video blog going a little deeper into Mark 1. If you’d like to check it out, you can click here.
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.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12 And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Looking at today’s text, a couple of things to notice. The text here tells how the friends of the man who is paralyzed dug through the roof. And that’s a pretty good description of what they actually would have done. These houses would have had thatched or mud roofs, roofs that would have been able to be dug through.
So, digging through the roof was not the hard part. This was the hard part. In a culture where pride mattered a great deal, you didn’t just go up onto someone’s roof and dig a hole. It just wasn’t something you did. But, their friend needed help. And Jesus could help. And they were desperate to see their friend get the help that he needed. So, they did what they had to do.
They valued their friend above all else. And that’s one of the themes of this passage. Notice if you will, two groups. The friends, that would do anything to see their friend healed, and the religious leaders that grumbled about this healing because Jesus forgave his sins.
In this, we see two groups. One valued that relationship and one that valued religion. This is someone you need to understand about the religious leaders. They weren’t “bad.” They were doing what they thought was right. They were trying to keep the law. They really weren’t all bad. But, they were more in love with the religion than they were with the God of the religion.
May we not make the same mistake. May we love Jesus above all.
Jesus calls Himself in this text the “Son of Man.” This is a reference prophecies in Daniel that pointed to the coming Messiah. So each time Jesus called Himself the Son of Man, He is saying that He is the Messiah.
And notice what the true power of the Messiah is in this text. Not the physical healing. What was the first thing He told the man. Your sins are forgiven. And then why did He heal? To show that He has the power to forgive sins.
Jesus shows us what true healing is. It’s not always physical. It’s spiritual. Jesus healed this man’s body. But more importantly, He healed His soul. He forgave him. And honestly, above all else in our lives, that’s what we need.
Spiritual healing. Forgiveness. Grace.
That is what Jesus gave this man today. He healed him. And today, through His grace, He longs to heal us as well.
Today, may we know the grace of forgiveness.
Tuesday we’ll look at Mark 2:13-17.
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