Friday, October 11, 2013

The Bigger Picture

Mark chapter 2 gives an incredible incident of healing of a paralytic.  Mark 2:1-11 reads:

"When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.  And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof  above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, 'My son, your sins are forgiven.' But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, 'Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.'"

I am amazed of the ingenuity and the compassion of the men who brought the paralytic to the Jesus.  Not perceiving the large crowd as a discouragement, they composed a scheme to place the paralytic within healing distance of the Savior, going so far as to tear through the roof.  Although the Bible doesn't mention how long it took to dig through the ceiling,  I imagine the scores of onlookers watched with amazement as the drama unfolded.

However, when the paralytic was being lowered down, what were the first words out of Jesus' mouth?  Jesus proclaims in verse 5, "My son, your sins are forgiven."  He didn't say "You're healed" or "Rise up and walk" (at least, not at the first).  Jesus demonstrated that the most important need in one's life is to be forgiven of his sins.  Being healed of an illness is nice, yet it is not the most urgent problem in a person's life.  Sicknesses come and go.  Yet, ultimately the sin issue must be addressed.

Unfortunately, the paralytic died years later, although the Bible doesn't say when.  However, having his sins forgiven, he experienced eternal healing.  Walking on the streets of Capernaum, I'm sure, was a great joy after his lameness was removed.  Even more so, having been delivered from his sins, he is now walking on the streets of glory.

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