40 Bible Stories Devotional, Day 26: Jesus Heals a Paralytic

Sin is a huge issue.  It is that thing that separates us from the Lord.  It is that thing that destroyed the paradise of the Garden of Eden.  It ruined God’s original plan of walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the Garden.  It steals us from His plans.  It removes us from His salvation.  It covers our eyes and blinds us from the love and goodness of our God.  Sin is a big deal.

External and internal condemnation are natural to follow sin because it is such a big deal.  The Pharisees in Jesus’ day spent all of their time pointing out the sin of everyone around them.  If you haven’t noticed, there are plenty of Pharisees around today.  This spirit of judgment is contagious.  It gets into our spiritual blood and we will even judge, convict, and condemn our self to a life sentence of guilt and remorse.  The tragedy for me is that many people will live and die attempting to follow Christ, but they will never be free to live the life God has planned for them because they do not understand the nature of sin.  They are controlled and manipulated by the spirit of condemnation.  In the story of Jesus healing the paralytic, He gives us insight into how He sees sin. I think that is something we should definitely investigate.  Let’s read”

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Mark 2:1-12

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered 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 paralytic, 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 and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “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?”

 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 the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, “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!”

(NIV1984)Jesus heals paralytic

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I would love to spend time on how we influence the salvation of others.  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”  This is a powerful moment.  We know that we can not be forgiven without having a spirit of repentance and faith in Christ.  But it does not say that Christ saw the faith of the paralytic, it says He saw the faith of his friends.  Their faith elevated the faith of the paralytic that He was able to receive forgiveness.  This is why we need one another.  We need Christian fellowship.  The apostle Paul admonished us to not give up meeting together.  In case you are wondering, that’s church Paul is talking about.  Get together with other believers if you are not already and have church.  Have church at work, at home, on a playdate with your girlfriends, on the golf course, or even in an actual church, but make it a point, a habit, to have church with other believers.

But let’s get back to the sin issue.  Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sons are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’ But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins….”  Then He healed the paralytic.  Christ was drawing a direct parallel to healing and forgiveness.  He proved that He had the authority to forgive sins by healing.  If He can do one, then He can do the other.

The Scripture never says that God needs to fix us.  We don’t go around saying, “I’ve been corrected by the Lord.”  No, we proclaim, “I have been saved.  I was blind, but now I see.  I was lost and now I am found.”  These expressions come straight from the Scripture and within them, the Lord gives us His perspective on sin.  Sin is a disease.  It’s worse than ebola. It is an ugly, nasty, incurable, infectious, hereditary disease.  Ok, you doctors out there, don’t start analyzing my lack of knowledge of how diseases work.  Focus. This is why Christ did so much healing during his ministry.  It revealed the nature of sin.

The thing about a disease is that we don’t choose it.  We are infected by it.  I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that we do choose sin.  And you are right.  Though we choose to sin in our life now, we have to understand, we never chose for sin to be born into us.  Even Adam and Eve did not choose for sin to enter into the world.  They were deceived. They thought they were choosing to be like God and to have wisdom for themselves.  There was no way for them to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

Salvation through Christ is the only treatment to keep this disease in remission.  I don’t say that we are cured, because to be cured would mean I would no longer need the treatment, but we need Jesus each and every day, every moment.

“Well, Mr. Preacherman, if sin is like a disease, then why did God act like a judge in the Old Testament and some in the New Testament destroying those full of sin?”

Sin is infectious and must be eradicated.  He made the cure available, but we must choose to accept it.  Even before Christ came, in His foreknowledge of Christ coming, He made the treatment available through the sacrificial offerings of the Old Testament.  But what do you do with someone who refuses treatment for an infectious, eternally-terminal disease?  The Lord was proving a point over and over again that sin is not something we can live with.  It is so contagious, we cannot be content with even the tiniest bit in our life.  He made this perfectly clear in the Old Testament and then again when the Divine sacrifice of Christ was given, the full mercy of God could be fully released and the Lord no longer destroyed those full of sin.  The call to forgiveness eclipsed the need for condemnation.

If your little boy became sick, would you beat him?  Of course not, but this is what we do to others and it is what we do to ourselves because of sin.  Don’t get me wrong, we must take responsibility for our choice to sin.  We need to repent.  We need to make restitution.  We need to make it right with the Lord.  But our response should be a good dose of  the loving, merciful, forgiving Christ.  When people sin, this is what they need, not condemnation.  As believers, let us spend our life bringing the healing touch of Christ, not the condemning spirit of the Pharisees.

Lamentations 3:18-23

And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:

 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

 It is of the Lord ‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

 They are new every morning:great is thy faithfulness.

(KJV)

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

Posted in 40 Bible Stories Devotion, Encouragement, Miracles, Sin, Spiritual Growth Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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