Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That You May Know


That You May Know

 

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” – Mark 2:5
Jesus had entered the town of Capernaum, and immediately gained fame among the people because of His miracles and His teaching.  He entered a house to teach those that were in it.  But it became so packed with people that Jesus couldn’t move from His place.  The doors were opened for people to listen from outside.  What a love for Jesus these people were showing by simply packing the house He was in!

But there was one who couldn’t enter, but sought Jesus like no other.  He was not able to fight through the crowd to get in.  He was “the paralytic”.  He had been paralyzed for so long that he had become known by his problem.
But the paralytic had good friends.  He had friends who cared enough to take him where he needed to go, and to believe with him that Jesus had a cure for his problem.  They brought him to the house, but seeing it was full they devised a plan to get their friend to Jesus.  (We all should have a plan to get our friends to Jesus.)

They climbed on the roof of the house, and began taking off the roofing.  They labored tirelessly to put a large enough hole in the roof of the house.  Then, raising their friend from the ground where he laid on a cot to the roof, they repositioned him, and lowered him down to Jesus.  These men believed Jesus for their friends healing so strongly that they worked for it, and yes, expected it.  They didn’t plan a way to retrieve the man and the cot back through the roof. 
Then the most amazing thing happened.  Jesus saw their faith.  He saw not only the faith of the paralyzed man seeking healing, but the faith of his friends.  In Mark 2:5 Jesus says to the man “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”   This may seem strange, that Jesus would forgive his sins rather than heal him, but in fact Jesus was healing him - eternally.  Unforgiven sin results in death.  Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death”.  What Jesus gave the man was eternal healing, not just the temporary healing of his broken body. 

Oh, but the scribes were there!  These were devoutly religious people, educated in the laws of Moses and the words of the prophets, but having no knowledge of who Jesus really was.  They had no understanding of faith because they weren’t ready to accept a Messiah.  They were there to learn the teachings of Jesus, but not to apply them.  They were happy to have him as a teacher, but not give him the authority that was His.  At hearing Jesus forgive sins, they were frustrated! How could this man, Jesus, offer freedom from sin? In the privacy of their hearts they murmured and said in Mark 2:7, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But Jesus heard the mutterings of their hearts.  He always knows what’s in the heart whether it’s spoken or not.  He answered them by saying “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?  But THAT YOU MAY KNOW that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

“That you may know”, Jesus said.  It wasn’t just about the paralytic.  Jesus wanted to heal the scribes as well.  He wanted them to see that He was the Messiah, and that He has authority over sin, as God does. 
The paralytic was healed that day, and to the amazement of those that were there, he walked out of the house standing straight, and packing his cot.  But the scribes, unable to put faith in Jesus and believe in the power given to Him, were not.

Faith works healing in ways that we don’t have to understand.  Faith is placing your trust in Jesus’ power as the Son of God.  It can provide you with the eternal healing Jesus gave to the paralytic.
In Matthew 28:18 Jesus speaks to His disciples after He had risen from the grave.  He said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He has all authority – all power.  Nothing is beyond the reach of Jesus.  There is no miracle He cannot work, no disease He cannot cure, and no sin He cannot forgive.  When you’ve lived with a problem for so long that you’re known by it, know that Jesus heals.  All it takes is faith to believe in Him.  He did it all “that YOU may know”. 

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