Mark 2:3-12 (NIV)
3Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6Now 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?”
8Immediately 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?9Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?10But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”12He 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!”
Jesus is God. He has the power to heal and the authority to forgive sin. Consider the paralytic’s condition. The victim of a disease, he was frozen, unable to move, and there was nothing he could do to make himself better. Now consider our condition. We sin. Our sin often paralyzes us under the burden of its guilt and other pain. The more we sin, the more the burden is. Moreover, we are unable to escape our sinful nature—there is nothing we can do to make ourselves better. But we can gain relief from our sin by faithfully seeking out Jesus.
What does “faithfully seeking out Jesus” look like? The paralytic’s four friends could not carry the man through the crowd, but they refused to give up, resorting to lowering him through the roof. They were seeking Jesus earnestly and were not allowing anything to stand in their way. How often do we allow ourselves to be deterred in our seeking of Jesus by our friends, our schedules, or public opinion?
The friends of the paralytic teach another valuable lesson in this story. When we see one of our friends struggling, the best thing we can do for that person is to bring him or her to Christ.
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