Pastor Kurt Gebhards continued his study of the book of Mark this week and once again I'd like to share some of the highlights.
Mark 2:1-13 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. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now 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?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “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’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 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!”
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.
Jesus had come “home” to Capernaum. This was probably to Peter’s house. And the word immediately got out that He was back and the people flocked to see more demons cast out and more people healed. But the Bible states that Jesus stayed focused. He “preached the word to them.” He was intent on spiritual healing.
But the crowd was frenzied. 31 times in the book of Mark it talks about people mobbing Jesus. But He was always calm, gracious and compassionate.
This time the house was so crowded that a paralytic and his 4 friends couldn’t get in the door. And they were desperate for Jesus to heal the man. He was their only hope. So they went up the stairs to the flat roof and began to dig through the clay layer, the tile layer and the sticks and thatch layer until they had a big enough hole to lower down the man who was on a stretcher.
This would have taken awhile and caused a huge mess! The people in the house must have certainly wondered what was going on! But Jesus didn’t seem irritated. In fact He honored their desperate action, by calling the man “My Son.” And He forgave the man’s sins, showing His priority for spiritual healing over physical healing.
The scribes were thinking “Only God can forgive sins.” And they were right. Only God can! But, they missed the fact that Jesus IS God! Instead they called Him a blasphemer.
Jesus answered their thoughts. And then He also physically healed the man to show His authority over everything. Christ has authority over our lives: our jobs, our homes, our thoughts, our finances, our future! Every time we reject His authority we call Him a blasphemer, saying He doesn’t have the right to do this. But He does!