I MET JESUS: A man who couldn't walk (Mark 2:1-12)

We're starting a series going through Mark's gospel all about people who met Jesus.  Today it was a man who couldn't walk...

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.  

Jesus was popular!  The house was so full, and outside the house was so busy, that no-one could get in.  Imagine it!  Everyone wanted to meet Jesus.  They must have heard things about his teaching or miracles or both and they wanted to see if what people were saying was true.

How about you?  Have you investigated Jesus for yourself?  Or have you gone with your gut feeling or what most people say about him today (that he was good but not God or the Son of God or anything like that)?  

Don't go on hearsay, public opinion or Ricky Gervais!  Go to Jesus himself and get what he said and did.  People can be wrong about God but God himself is never wrong about anything.  Each of us must get to know Jesus for ourselves and decide whether or not we should trust him and follow him. 

Some men came, bringing to him a paralysed 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...

The friends were desperate!  They REALLY wanted to get their friend to meet Jesus.

If you're a Christian, how desperate are you to get your friends to meet Jesus?  These guys were prepared to find solutions even when it looked impossible.  They were even prepared to break in through the roof!  Are you prepared to do what it takes to introduce your friends to Jesus?  Think and pray about what could help... and then try it!

Mark says Jesus "saw their faith".  Of course he did!  It was obvious.  Jesus demonstrates miraculous knowledge in a minute but at this point in the story he's just seeing the lengths these friends are prepared to go to in order to meet him.  They clearly have faith in him!  Faith is belief in action!

...he said to the paralysed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’

Jesus claimed to be God.  The religious teachers are right.  Only God can forgive a person's sin (all of it) and make them right with him.  When Jesus says "your sins are forgiven", it's a clear claim to be God.  The problem is that the teachers don't believe Jesus is God and so they call it blasphemy (this is ultimately why people wanted Jesus killed - he claimed to be God a lot and not everyone believed him). 

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? Which is easier: to say to this paralysed man, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up, take your mat and walk”? 

Which IS easier?  Telling a paralysed person their sins are really forgiven?  Or telling them to walk?  I think the second one takes more guts because it's obvious you're a fraud straight away if they can't get up (and everyone would be incredibly angry with you).  But forgiveness of sins, although it's just as much of a miracle, is an INVISIBLE one.  So no-one can tell if it's really happened or not.

Jesus wants everyone to know that:

And so (knowing what they were thinking), Jesus says...

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!’

He does it!  He proves it!  The visible physical miracle happened and it means the invisible spiritual one did too.  The guy walks out in full view of them all with working legs AND forgiveness from God!!    

Everyone is amazed.  This is why people loved (and hated) Jesus.  He kept making the claim to be God AND backing it up with the power to prove it.

How about you?  What's your reaction?  Love Jesus more?  Hate him more?  Still not sure it's all true?  

Whatever you do, don't make your decision about Jesus based on your gut feeling or Family Guy.  You have to GO TO THE HOUSE!! :)  Get Jesus' own words about himself.  Meet him in the pages of Mark's gospel and see what God does!