MARK 2:1-11 – And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And 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 man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed 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 say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
THEME OF THE DAY. THE GREATEST WORDS WE WILL EVER HEAR. He had probably suffered a very long time. Maybe even being a paralytic from birth. His life was one of total dependence on others. Helpless and constantly in need, this man illustrates physically, our condition spiritually. And this man had great friends who loved him dearly. Their love was demonstrated for what true love does – sacrifices; not being inconvenienced, but sacrifices – extremely. It was one thing for them to show love for their friend by carrying him on a cot to where Jesus was healing. It went to a new level of demonstration by carrying him up to the roof and then lowering him down to the feet of Jesus. They would not be denied. Large crowds preventing access to Jesus? No problem. Love finds a way. Love paves a way. Love will not stop serving regardless of the difficulties and challenges to overcome. But now the story gets even more intriguing . . .
Picture the scene. The roof of the house is torn apart. A man descends through the hole on a cot. The crowd is silent with looks of “What is going on?” He is lowered to the very feet of Jesus. All eyes are fixed on the Lord. What will He do? The mass of people has pressed into the room to hear Him preach and now, a paralytic man lies before Him. The sermon has ceased, but not really. In fact, the very words Jesus speaks to the man is “the sermon of sermons that every human being needs to hear and believe.” It is the chief end of all preaching and it consists of five words. Jesus, perhaps looks at the crowd, maybe gives an affirming nod to this sick man’s loving friends, then stares at the man and says, “Be healed. Get up, walk.” No, those are not the five words He first speaks. He says, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Friends, these are the greatest and most important words we will ever hear from God. Why? Nothing matters more in life than forgiveness; to be reconciled with God. Nothing is to be pursued more than to know forgiveness of sin. When we come to our death beds, the one thing of greatest urgency and priority is to know we are forgiven by the God we are about to meet. Back to the story, Jesus does heal him of the paralysis, but He healed the greater disease first. Has he done that in our lives? If so, make it a thing of daily praise. If not, receive it today. Jesus stands ready to say, “Your sins are forgiven.”
PRAYER: “Father, thank You for giving me what I need most now and for eternity – Your forgiveness of my sins.”
QUOTE: “Whatever else we may obtain in life, the greatest and most important is knowing God’s forgiveness”