2019-09-08 – Mark 2.1-12 – Forgiveness: Healing That Matters
Bible Text: Mark 2.1-12 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2019-09-08 – Mark 2.1-12 – Forgiveness: Healing That Matters
(QCABA Annual Picnic, Fall Festival Outcome, Mission Illinois Offering)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Last week we saw in scripture, the Power of Christ Revealed. Jesus showed His power in many ways. He healed a man from being demon possessed; He healed Peter’s mother-in-law; and then He healed many others who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. Jesus healed them because He cared for them and He showed His love for them. The Power of Christ was Revealed in a big way there in Capernaum. Effectively these amazing and miraculous events marked the starting of His ministry to the people, and He was spreading the Good News Gospel in a very real and physical way. Jesus was proving to them, and now us today, that He is the Great Physician, and He is the true Savior Messiah that they were all waiting for. Jesus knew that by meeting a physical need, loving them and healing them, the door would be open for Him to speak to them about even a greater purpose and mission—to bring eternal salvation to their souls. We see the same pattern throughout Jesus’ ministry. He would heal somebody then use that interaction to present truth to them. He would feed them then tell them about Heaven. He would wash their feet so they would consider humbling themselves for ministry. We concluded last week with the understanding that we need to be doing the same brothers and sisters. We need to be following the pattern of Jesus in this ministry here in Orion that He has blessed us with now. Within each of us, is the Power of Christ Revealed;
Today we are going to see another great example of healing, and we are going to read where Jesus explains what it is truly all about.
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 2.1, pew Bibles pg 888 in God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word, but let us first start with Prayer.
As we discussed last week, Jesus is now spending some time in Capernaum after John the Baptist was taken to prison. Capernaum is kind of Jesus’s home away from home. It is His home base now for most of his ministry efforts going forward. People from the surrounding cities heard about Jesus’s miracles and healings, and so they traveled to see Him. So many people came that they caused Jesus to step out of the town for a while as there were just too many to effectively manage and minister to.
Mark 2:1 When he entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and he was speaking the word to them.
Mark wrote here that Jesus “was at home”, when in fact it was really Peter’s house that He was staying at, which was very near, even a stones throw from the Jewish synagogue. We don’t know how many people were healed by Jesus but it obviously was many, and thus many more people came so they could even get a glimpse of this amazing healer. This reminds me once of when I visited a very rural village in Bangladesh where a friend of mine lived that I met during Desert Storm. I very much stood out amongst the people as I was the only white skinned guy in the town. People were curious, coming from far and near to see who this stranger (me) was. As I walked through the village marketplace, all business stopped and people came running towards us. We ducked into a small shop and people gathered all around, hundreds of them. Now I wasn’t healing anyone like Jesus, but I guess it was enough of a deal just being there that I drew a crowd. The people were piled-in around the shack and I noticed they were even craning their necks to see who I was. It was a strange position to be in for sure. I bet this was similar to what Jesus encountered, not a very comfortable situation to say the least.
Verse 3 continues:
3 They came to him bringing a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and after digging through it, they lowered the mat on which the paralytic was lying. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
This man had a type of Palsy according to Dr. Luke’s version of this story. Palsy is a medical term which refers to various types of paralysis, often accompanied by weakness and the loss of feeling and uncontrolled body movements such as shaking. This young man’s buddies were trying to get him in to see the miracle worker Jesus, but there were just too may other people in their way. So they devised a plan to circumvent the situation. They climbed up on the rooftop and dug a hole in the thatched roof, and they lowered their friend using ropes tied to a gurney of some type, right above where Jesus was sitting. Could you imagine Jesus sitting there with crowds about him, when pieces of the roof started falling down from the ceiling, then seeing the man lowered down and four young men peering down from the hole in anticipation. I would bet that Jesus was impressed with their ingenuity and drive, but even more so by their love for this young man.
Then Jesus said here that because of “their faith” He chose to heal him from this disease. Not the paralyzed man’s faith but his friends’ faith in Jesus. Isn’t that awesome! We can all use more friends like that, Amen? And that is why Jesus blessed us with a church family. This also reminds me of a verse from James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” We need to be praying and supporting one another brothers and sisters. God notices especially sacrificial love for one another. Their faith is what healed the man that day, and your faith can positively effect both the mortal and the eternal situation of others. God wants you to step-into the lives of those He put in your path.
Notice though what Jesus said to the paralytic man, “Son, your sins are forgiven”. I am sure it baffled everyone around, especially the man and his friends that went through so much toil to get him to Jesus. They didn’t climb the house wall, dig through the roof, then lower the man through a hole to get his friends sins forgiven, they wanted him healed, just like the saw Jesus heal so many others.
You might imagine that if you go into the hospital because you are hurting, or maybe because you have cancer. And the physician comes up to you, looks you over and says, “Son, your sins are forgiven”. You would be aghast wouldn’t you? I would suggest that Jesus knew exactly what their response would be, and He used this as a teaching moment for them, the watchful disciples, and for us here today. Let us read on now, verse 6 continues:
6 But some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts: 7 “Why does he speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Right away Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were thinking like this within themselves and said to them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 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 so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he told the paralytic— 11 “I tell you: get up, take your mat, and go home.” 12 Immediately he got up, took the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Could you imagine being there watching all this unfold that day. And Jesus knew exactly what they were even thinking.. They didn’t voice their concerns out loud, this verse here says that the scribes were only “questioning in their hearts”. But Jesus knew their thoughts and He knows our thoughts as well. That should give us peace, but also maybe some trepidation. Over and over in New Testament Jesus both demonstrated this mind reading ability and said that God knows what is in our thoughts and what is in our hearts. In Matthew 5, about sin, Jesus said,
“that anyone who is even angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” and “that anyone who even looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. Jesus knows our thoughts brothers and sisters. So many times He demonstrated that ability in scripture. And today, as He looked upon this paralytic man and told him that his sins were forgiven, Jesus felt what everyone was thinking, and that gave Him the opportunity to address the truth of the matter at hand.
They were more concerned with their mortal situation than their eternal situation. And even still, Jesus loved them so much that He gave into their ignorance and healed the man’s physical situation. He loved them, and He loves us today as well. As maturing Christians, we should be learning to change our focus. Although we will all be subject to mortal pain and life’s challenges, our main concern should be the health of the eternal souls of those God puts in our path. All the while, as Jesus so well demonstrated, loving on the folks and meeting their physical challenges too.
I offer you two takeaways from this message today from God’s Word:
Don’t be surprised if God works out a situation in your life or in others in ways that you wouldn’t have ever considered. Don’t put God in a box of your limitations and understanding. He can do anything, and He does, ptl.
Just like this man’s friends had a positive impact on both his eternal and physical health, our actions can also impact others in ways that we can only imagine. We need to be a people that cares enough to pray and do even the unexpected to impact the world for Christ. Are you willing?
The subject of the message today is “Forgiveness: Healing that Matters”. God is rightfully more concerned with your eternal soul than your mortal situation. He is so concerned and so loving a Father, that He even sent His one and only Son into the world, to be mocked, ridiculed, and then to be put up on a cross to die for the benefit of our eternal souls.
In this world we are guaranteed to have some pain and suffering. We talked about that a little bit last Wednesday with the Hurricane hovering over the Bahamas for 18 hours straight and 200 mile an hour winds. We are guaranteed to have some pain and suffering. But just as this one story of Jesus demonstrates, Jesus loves us eternally and is concerned about our sin. He loves, and He desires to have fellowship with us for all of eternity. He wants to spare us from an eternity of sorrow and pain. Forgiveness is the most important healing that truly matters. Sin, is what separates us from God.
When God created this most perfect Earth and the Garden of Eden, it was without sin, pain and suffering. God created a wonderful place for us to live and have fellowship and worship Him. But He created us as humans, He didn’t create a robot, thus He presented Adam and Eve with the ability to choose right from wrong. They chose sin, and now we have the repercussions of that sin all around us. Now we, like the paralytic man, experience mortal pain and suffering. However God has given us His Word, that He will render a healing solution. He will recreate the world, and those that put their faith in Him will dwell in the house of the Lord, Heaven on Earth forever. God loves you, He knows what is in your hearts hearts today, and He will listen to your pleas, and He will answer your prayers. He will meet your needs and show you His love.
But it all starts with a decision.
Will you consider giving your heart to Jesus this morning? Ask Him to forgive your sins, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior for ever more?
Jesus told that paralyzed young man “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
How would you like to hear from Jesus one day, “Son or Daughter, your sins are forgiven”? You can. Maybe ask that of Him today.
As Jeremy read the start of the 103rd Psalm this morning. It continues with this, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him”.