February 12, 2020 – Wednesday
Mark 2:1-4 NIV
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2 They gathered in such large numbers 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 paralyzed man, 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 by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
This is the same story we looked at yesterday in Matthew 9:1-8, but we have a good bit more details to look at and consider. For instance here we see Jesus was not healing, but teaching / preaching the word to them, a crowd of such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door.
Then we learn four men came carrying a paralyzed man. I wonder at the distance they must have carried him and fatigue and disappointment they much have felt when they discovered just how crowded it was there. And to find out Jesus was not healing anyone but preaching the word. Remember that was what Jesus came to do – teach and preach prior to His crucifixion – as we read in the first chapter of Mark 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. And a little earlier in the same chapter we read 14bJesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” So now we know something of the word Jesus was preaching when the four men arrived with their paralyzed friend.
Still to get their friend to Jesus they climbed the outside stairway that led to the roof on most houses of that day. Arriving on the roof they had to find the overhang, like a porch covering for our homes today, and make an opening large enough to lower their friend without dropping him or causing him to slide off the mat they would use to lower him. At the same time on the ground Jesus continued preaching the word to the crowd. , However, as they created an opening on the roof small bits of dirt and stone had to be falling on or around Jesus. Surely He looked up and first saw the opening then the man being lowered near Him, perhaps right in front of Him.
The very next thing we read is 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus saw more than the paralyzed man in front of Him. He saw the faith of the four friends who had brought him to Jesus and He responded to their faith, not by healing their friend, but by forgiving His sins. Jesus dealt with the more important task first, more important than healing him, the forgiving of his sins.
Before He could continue with healing the man Jesus became aware of 6 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?” And they were correct, only God can forgive sins against God. Knowing what they and likely the crowd around Him were thinking, Jesus addressed their thoughts with the following questions 8b Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? Of course the answer was neither as only God could forgive the man’s sins and only God could heal the man and tell him to get up and walk. With His own words Jesus seemed to be condemning Himself before everyone present, but He was not doing that. Instead He was leading them to the truth of who He really was and is.
So He followed up His questions with the astonishing statement 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. We are not told what their reactions were to such a statement or if they even had time to truly react as we are told Jesus then said to the paralyzed man 11 I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. Then the man 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!”
Jesus did two things in the above verses. First and foremost He proved He was/is God as only God could forgive sins and only God could tell a paralyzed man to get up and walk and have him do so. Only God. Next He showed us more important than healing is the forgiveness of sins. Thus when we pray for others we should always be praying that they will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior or get right with Him and only then pray for their healing. Their healing will only last through this lifetime, but being right with Jesus will last for eternity.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton