Day Four: Paralyzed No More

Mark 2:1-5, 10-12 (NIV) – A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 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. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 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!”

Sometimes whole nations and governments engage in childish, but deadly, tit-for-tat retaliations. People who live that way tend to think that God lives that way too. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that Jesus’ unexpected declaration of forgiveness sent shock waves running through the house, the village, the nation, and finally through the world. It wasn’t simply that he was committing a theological crime. The hole in his own roof was nothing compared with the hole he was tearing through an entire way of life.

We have to find ways of bringing healing and forgiveness to our communities. Forgiveness can also, of course, change individuals. It can, as in this case, go down to the hidden roots of the personality, gently healing old, long-buried, hurts. Often people think healing and forgiveness is impossible. They find God distant or uncaring. But true faith won’t be satisfied with that. This story is a picture of prayer. Don’t stay on the edge of the crowd. Dig through God’s roof and find yourself in his presence. You will get more than you bargained for. It’s not pleasant if you’re helpless on a stretcher, but you don’t have many responsibilities. Once you’ve met the living, forgiving God in Jesus, you’ll find yourself on your feet, going out into the world in the power of God’s love. [Wright, N. T.. Mark for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone)(Kindle Locations 507-523)]

God sees through our deepest need to be forgiven. What paralyzes us in our lives? Jesus came to set us free. Let His Words break through today.