THIS WEEK: Favorite Forgiveness Moments
The place was crowded. To turn back home was not an option. It was the last chance for their friend to ever walk again.
They had to get him in front of Jesus. Their desperation led to desperate measures.
Mark 2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
Distracted by the dust and mesmerized by the mat, those around had to be wondering what was going on. For the friends, their mission was accomplished. Now all they needed was Jesus to touch him and heal his paralysis and they would be on their way.
But Jesus doesn’t heal the paralysis…right away. He knew there was a bigger illness that needed fixing. It wasn’t the condition of his limbs, it was the condition of his life. It wasn’t just a problem for the paralytic, it was a reality for all those standing around him.
The issue was bigger than a physical one. It was spiritual.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus’ concern for the man…for all around…was the condition of the heart. He saw their faith. The friends believed Jesus could heal their friend. The paralytic trusted Jesus was the answer. But he got something better …forgiveness…his relationship with God was restored.
But nothing visibly changed. He was still on the mat. He probably didn’t look any different. But Jesus words stirred the teachers of the law around him.
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Who do you think you are? God?
They knew God was the one who forgives sins. They weren’t ready to acknowledge Jesus WAS God. But Jesus was ready to show them that he was and had BOTH the power to heal AND the power to forgive.
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Talk is cheap…unless you back it up with actions.
The paralytic (now no longer a paralytic) walked out of the house in full view of them all. It was concrete proof that Jesus was God AND thus had the power to forgive sins.
What does that mean for you?
When Jesus says, “Mike (insert your name), your sins are forgiven.” They are…because HE is God AND has the power to forgive…you!
Apply: Have you ever felt (are feeling) like God won’t forgive you for _________? Never discount Jesus power to forgive all your sins…even the ones you don’t think he will!
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for seeing what my soul needs most…your forgiveness. Help me to always trust you have the power to forgive and the heart that is willing to forgive me! Amen.