Through The Roof (B)
Jesus Forgives The Paralytic
Mark chapter 2 tells the well known story of the paralytic, whose friends lowered him through a roof, and into the presence of Jesus. His friends and brothers had brought him there, desperate for his healing. For his affliction not only ravished his own life. It deeply burdened the lives of those who cared for him. As the paralytic is lowered into the room, Jesus takes a moment to address him. The man on the suspended cot is clearly handicapped, his body contorted by years of atrophy and paralysis. But The Savior doesn't see his physical distress first. Rather he sees his sin, and his need for forgiveness. " My son, thy sins are forgiven thee", are the words with which He addresses this newly arrived cripple. *. *. *. This incredible story is told in Sunday schools and church services, worldwide. It is a testament to Gods healing power, exercised through His Son. On many occasions Jesus healed the lame, and in some cases, raised the dead. Historically, healing by Faith has been a controversial subject. On many occasions in the New Testament, the disciples healed the sick, even raising the deceased back to life. As a Christian beholden to the inerrancy of Scripture, those incidents are facts, not subject to mans interpretations, nor evaluations. Faith healing, however, because of its documented abuse, has a much less formidable history. Men and women alike, for centuries, have used 'faith healing' as a circus act. A magicians ruse. A means to profit financially. That's not to say that Gods healing power is not a daily occurrence amongst those that call upon The Lord. But those that would try to profess a 'gift', a God given ability to heal at random, are rarely, if ever, the 'real deal'. But this story is, at its heart, much less about healing, and much more about forgiveness. Jesus looked upon this disabled man, and saw first, his disabled soul. He saw his heart before He saw his infirmity. And then He did something that no other man in history, could ever have claimed to have done: He forgave him of his sins. How much more could this quadriplegic have ever asked for? Imagine if he had been healed of his physical distress, but remained dead in his trespasses and sin. What kind of victory would that have been? *. *. *.
As Christians we far too often look for the outward signs that confirm our Lords ability to transform lives. His willingness to heal and to feed and to comfort His children are paramount, evidence that He's truly there, meeting our needs. But by far, our Saviors ability to forgive, is His crowning glory, the essential dynamic of our faith in Him. And it's forgiveness that brings us redemption and reconciliation, the keys to our inheritance in Christ. *. *. *.
Mark chapter 2 would be better remembered as the time that Jesus 'forgave' the paralytics sins. For this was infinitely more significant than the healing of the mans paralysis. And for the skeptics that choose to refer to Jesus as merely a good man, an influential teacher, let them never forget that this Man looked a lame man in his eyes, then forgave him of his sin. A claim that no other man in history has had the authority make.
Mark 2 : 5" When Jesus saw their faith He said to the man, "My son, your sins are forgiven thee". Mark 2 : 10 A" For I want you to know that the Son Of Man, has authority on earth, to forgive sins".