QUITE A RIDE

Mk. 2:1-3 – When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.

Things had been pretty crazy for the last several days. Not long ago Jesus had shocked Peter and his fishing buddies with a net ripping, boat sinking catch of fish. These fishermen had worked on this lake all of their lives, they had never seen anything like this. The result, these fishing buddies were following Jesus with a new job description, now they would be fishing for men. Next, there was the incident in the synagogue that they had all attended their whole lives with the demon possessed man. This guy was convulsing and shouting obscenities in God’s house, they had never seen anything like this either. The next thing they knew this demonized man was just as normal as they were, how could any of this be possible?

That wasn’t all, Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law from a fever and a man who was absolutely covered with leprosy was instantly healed. With all of these miracles in the air Peter’s whole town was on its ear, God was surely visiting Capernaum.

That’s when the totally unthinkable happened. The crowds were pushing into Peter’s house to the point that not another person could get inside. They were coming from everywhere, even the Pharisees from Jerusalem had showed up in this fishing village at this fisherman’s house. Suddenly, there was scratching and digging on the roof. The next thing you know a paralyzed man was being lowered with ropes into the room where Jesus was teaching. Jesus was looking up into the opening in the ceiling to see four sheepish smiles looking to see what would happen. That’s when Jesus shocked everyone. He looked at the paralytic and, of all things, He said, “Your sins are forgiven”.

That did it, the Pharisees were enraged, who has the power to forgive sins but God. Before they could even verbalize their anger Jesus answered them, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”

That was it, the paralyzed man was healed, running home as fast as his new legs could carry him. The Pharisees were stumbled, sensing Jesus claims to deity, they would have to formulate a battle plan. The rest of the people were amazed and overwhelmed with the fear of God as they all began to worship and glorify God. As for Peter and his fishing buddies, they were beginning to realize that they were in for quite a ride.

HELPLESS

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Mark 2:3,4 – And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.

I love the miracles of Jesus. We catch glimpses of His glory when we look again at His marvelous works. Today’s verse speaks about the paralyzed man who was carried by four friends to see Jesus. There were too many people crowding around Jesus but these four friends would not be denied. Their friend needed to see Jesus. What could they do? Why, climb onto the roof and tear a hole in it. Of course, this was the only way and they were going to take their chance. Maybe you know someone that needs Jesus. Whatever their problem; cancer, paralysis, alcoholism, sexual addiction; financial or marital woes, the answer is the same. Bring them to Jesus. Find a way, no obstacle should be too great. Here are some comments from Matthew Henry on today’s text.

“The faith of his friends in bringing him to Christ. His distemper was such, that he could not come to Christ himself, but as he was carried. Even the halt and the lame may be brought to Christ, and they shall not be rejected by him….It was his misery, that he needed to be so carried, and bespeaks the calamitous state of human life; it was their charity, who did so carry him, and bespeaks the compassion that it is justly expected should be in the children of men toward their fellow-creatures in distress, because we know not how soon the distress may be our own. These kind relations or neighbors thought, if they could but carry this poor man once to Christ, they should not need to carry him any more; and therefore made hard shift to get him to him; and when they could not otherwise get to him, they uncovered the roof where he was.”
Maybe you need to come to Jesus. You know the condition of your soul, maybe your soul is paralyzed. It could be paralyzed by fear, or paralyzed by sickness, or paralyzed by pride or resentment or anger. It makes no difference, the answer is the same, find your way to His feet. Your sins will be forgiven and your life will be made whole.

FRIENDS

Mark 2:3,4 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

As they say, desperate times demand desperate measures. This paralyzed man could not live a normal life. It was hard in that day to have any job if you were paralyzed. It effected everything; friends, wife, children, no one in your life was left unscathed. In many ways this paralytic’s life was over, unless??? Unless he could get a miracle. His friends told him about the meetings that Jesus was conducting. Blind, deaf, lepers, even the maimed were restored by His touch or by just a word from the Lord’s mouth. Could it be possible that this paralytic could receive a miracle? It was settled, his friends were going to carry him to Jesus. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was speaking there was no way to get inside. The people were literally spilling out of the doors and the windows. Without hesitation they carried the man to the roof and began to tear the tiles on the roof off. They would not be denied. Next, they lowered him through the roof to the feet of Jesus. These were real friends, they were determined to see their friend made whole. Listen as Matthew Henry describes this scene.

“It was his misery, that he needed to be so carried, and bespeaks the calamitous state of human life; it was their charity, who did so carry him, and bespeaks the compassion that it is justly expected should be in the children of men toward their fellow-creatures in distress, because we know not how soon the distress may be our own. These kind relations or neighbors thought, if they could but carry this poor man once to Christ, they should not need to carry him any more; and therefore made hard shift to get him to him; and when they could not otherwise get to him, they uncovered the roof where he was.”
All of us have friends whose lives have been effected by sickness, injury, or some of the other maladies of life, maybe you can your friend to Jesus. These friends brought their friend to the feet of Jesus. Looking up into the Lord’s face, hope poured through His being. Then he heard the words that changed everything. “My son, your sins are forgiven. Pick up your pallet and go home.”

THE MELODY OF HIS VOICE

Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

The voice of the Lord is like no other. It is filled with power, wisdom, comfort, creativity, and has the feel of a beautiful song. Even with Jesus cloaked in the humble garment of a Nazarene carpenter, the power and beauty of His words were unmistakeable. No man ever spake like this man. Somehow when He spoke peace would fill your heart, the unbelievable was now a certainty, and the unclimbable mountain was merely a bump in the road. When Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man in Mark 2 his world began to change. His overbearing guilt was gone and life flooded his mind and his body. Before he realized what had happened he was running down the street toward home with his pallet under his arm. The word of God had made him whole. The beauty of this story is this, Jesus is still speaking today. He is speaking powerfully to us in His written word. Here are some thoughts from Wuest on today’s verse.

“He preached the word to them. “Preached” is laleō, laleō used originally just of sounds like the chatter of birds, the prattling of children, is used here of the most serious kind of speech. It takes note of the sound and the manner of speaking. One thinks of the words in the song in the Garden; “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.” Our Lord thus spoke to the crowd assembled, in a conversational tone. The beauty of His voice, the charm of His manner, and the tenderness and love in His countenance, must have come to this weary, sick group of people as a breath from heaven. The verb is in the imperfect tense, emphasizing continuous action. Expositors’ comment on the tense of this verb is as follows; ‘Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom when the following incident happened’ (the healing of the lame man).”
So maybe life’s disappointments have left you paralyzed, unable to function or enjoy your life. This man was so devastated, his friends had to carry him to the feet of Jesus. How you get there is not important, just get there. You may walk, run, crawl, or even be carried by your friends. When you hear the melody of His voice your life will start again.

FORGIVENESS AND HEALING

Mark 2:9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?

Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—

Mark 2:11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

Sometimes we forget the people in the stories of the Bible were real people. This paralyzed man was hurting. His pain was more than physical, he hurt on the inside. He probably had a family, maybe a wife and some children. He hurt when he couldn’t play with his kids or go to work or spend time with his wife. He wandered from guilt, to blame, to self pity, and anger. He just wanted to be normal but normal seemed a million miles away. That’s when his friends carried him to see that preacher, the one everyone was talking about and everyone had an opinion about. Before he could stop them they were up on the roof, tearing through the tiles, and suddenly he found himself in a room full of people looking into the eyes of love. ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’. He was talking to him. Who said anything about sin or forgiveness? The next thing he knew, life was flowing through his legs and he could walk, not only could he walk, he could run. He was going to see his family as fast as his legs could take him.

You see this man’s problems were connected to something shameful in his past. Its not always the case, but far too often it is. The good news is that all it took was forgiveness for this man to get his life back. Maybe you are bound up from stuff in your past. Jesus has healing and forgiveness for you as well. Matthew Henry spoke about the connection of forgiveness and healing, check out his thoughts.

“Christ said, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. The compilation is very tender-Son; intimating a fatherly care of him and concern for him. Christ owns true believers as his sons: a son, and yet sick of the palsy. Herein God deals with you as with sons. The cordial is very rich; Thy sins are forgiven thee. Sin is the procuring cause of all our pains and sicknesses. The word of Christ was to take his thoughts off from the disease, which was the effect, and to lead them to the sin, the cause, that he might be more concerned about that, to get that pardoned. God doth then graciously take away the sting and malignity of sickness, when he forgives sin; recovery from sickness is then a mercy indeed, when way is made for it by the pardon of sin. The way to remove the effect, is, to take away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all diseases, and either cures them, or alters their property.”

If you are hurting you too have a way out. Jesus is still in the healing and forgiving profession. Take courage, your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.

PARALYZED

Mark 2:3-5 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. ¶ When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

If you really think about it, we are all like this paralyzed man. Some are paralyzed with fear, others with their anger and unforgiveness, somehow the circumstances of life have gotten the best of us. This man had a physical handicap, but his real problem was lurking just below the surface. From what Jesus said to him we see that he needed more than just a physical healing, he was dealing with a sin problem. Jesus didn’t just deal with the obvious symptoms, He went to the heart of the matter. This paralyzed man had some hidden secrets in his life that had left him incapacitated. If you really think about it, just fixing the circumstances in our lives will seldom solve the problem, we often need something more than the obvious. We need The Lord to work on the hidden man of the heart. Here is something Matthew Henry said about this passage.

“The presenting of a poor cripple to him, to be helped by him. The patient was one sick of the palsy, it should seem not as that, grievously tormented, but perfectly disabled, so that he was borne of four, was carried upon a bed, as if he had been upon a bier, by four persons. It was his misery, that he needed to be so carried, and bespeaks the calamitous state of human life; it was their charity, who did so carry him, and bespeaks the compassion that it is justly expected should be in the children of men toward their fellow-creatures in distress, because we know not how soon the distress may be our own. These kind relations or neighbors thought, if they could but carry this poor man once to Christ, they should not need to carry him any more; and therefore made hard shift to get him to him; and when they could not otherwise get to him, they uncovered the roof where he was.”

Often times, it is our misery that brings us to God. If you are the “paralyzed man” today know that there is recovery for you from whatever brought your conditions to the fore front. You may find yourself laying at the feet of Jesus, that is best place on this earth to be. If you are not that man then you must be one of his friends. If you watch and listen carefully, you will recognize the hurting people all around you. They are there on purpose. You are in their lives to carry them to God. So why not get started? Maybe there is a house to climb up on and a roof to tear off.

THE DOUBLE CURE

THE DOUBLE CURE

Mark 2:8-11 ¶ But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

The old time pentecostal preachers used to speak about the”double cure” found in Christ. They were talking about redemption found in the blood of Jesus Christ that not only cleansed us from our sins but also purchased healing for our bodies. The same act of rebellion from our first parents that brought us into the life and world of sin also introduced us to sickness and death. The one act of righteousness performed by Jesus on the cross settled our debt of sin and purchased our bodies from the ravages of sickness and disease. By His wounds we are forgiven, by His wounds we are healed. Matthew Henry spoke about Christ’s authority to forgive and its connection to His power to heal.

“God’s royalties are inseparable, and he that could know thoughts, could forgive sins. This magnifies the grace of Christ, in pardoning sin, that he knew men’s thoughts, and therefore knows more than any other can know, both of the sinfulness of their sins and the particulars of them, and yet is ready to pardon. Now he proves his power to forgive sin, by demonstrating his power to cure the man sick of the palsy. He would not have pretended to do the one, if he could not have done the other; that ye may know that the Son of man, the Messiah, has power on earth to forgive sin, that I have that power, Thou that art sick of the palsy, arise, take up thy bed. Now, This was a suitable argument in itself. He could not have cured the disease, which was the effect, if he could not have taken away the sin, which was the cause. And besides, his curing diseases was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. He that could by a word accomplish the sign, could doubtless perform the thing signified.”

What a powerful statement, “Sin is the disease of the soul”. One of the deceptive things about sin is this, there are not often immediate consequences. Many time it seems like you have escaped the penalties of sin, life apparently goes on as normal. The consequences of sin are not immediate but they are certain, your sins will find you out. Often, sin will manifest itself in physical disease. When this poor paralytic was brought to Jesus he heard the greatest words ever, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”. He was being introduced to the double cure! “Arise, take up your bed and walk.”

NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS

NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS

“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
Mark 2:10-12

“How could this be God? We’ve never seen anything like this before.” Sorry to say, all of us get out our measuring sticks when something we have never seen before happens, especially in church. When Jesus forgave a paralyzed man’s sins and then healed him, there were all sorts of responses in the crowd. There was everything from joy and celebration to anger and pent up hostility. Some people were doubting and others, their faith was soaring. The ones who were angry and doubting began to voice their complaints. “We have never seen anyone forgive sin or heal the sick, this couldn’t be God.” Every time there is revival you get the same complaints. Jonathan Edwards dealt with the same attitude in the 1700’s, here is what he said about new things appearing in times of revival.
“There is a great aptness in persons to doubt of things that are strange; especially elderly persons, to think that to be right which they have never been used to in their day, and have not heard of in the days of their day, and have not heard of in the days of their fathers. But if it be a good argument that a work is not from the Spirit of God, that it is very unusual, then it was so in the apostles’ days. The work of the Spirit then, was carried on in a manner that, in very many respects, was altogether new; such as never had been seen or heard since the world stood. The work was then carried on with more visible and remarkable power than ever; nor had there been seen before such mighty and wonderful effects of the Spirit of God in sudden changes, and such great engagedness and zeal in great multitudes–such a sudden alteration in towns, cities, and countries; such a swift progress, and vast extent of the work–and many other extraordinary circumstances might be mentioned. The great unusualness of the work surprised the Jews; they knew not what to make of it, but could not believe it to be the work of God: many looked upon the persons that were the subjects of it as bereft of reason; as you may see in the book of Acts.”
Just because it hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean its not God. In the case of present day Pentecostal outpourings, it has all happened before anyway. When the Spirit is poured out on people there is going to be a response. It may be laughter, tears, shouting, trembling, running, falling out into a trance like state, there are many kinds of manifestations of His presence. I think I will take the counsel of Jonathan Edwards, manifestations do not have to be demonic, many times they are spiritual. How can we tell the difference? Its easy. Test the fruit. The devil makes people carnal, Jesus makes people spiritual. Manifestations don’t scare me, they are the signs of His presence. You know what scares me, a cold, apathetic church where God’s presence is not welcome.

GOD’S GLORY OR MY JOY?

GOD IS GLORIFIED, I AM SATISFIED

Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
MK 2:1

God loves to display His Glory. He shows His Glory all around us everyday in countless ways. We see His glory in creation, in His word , in His redeeming grace, and in this instance, in the healing touch of Jesus. The people were amazed by this miracle, and they began to glorify the Lord.
Jonathan Edwards always spoke of the Glory of God seen in all things. In his book, ” The End for Which God Created the Earth”, he describes God’s Glory being displayed through the happiness of man, not just because He meets our needs in life, but because God Himself satisfies the hunger of our hearts. As Edwards says ” God is my good”. Now this changes everything. The lame man came to Jesus looking for healing, but he got so much more than that. When his sins were forgiven, He was brought to God. He found Himself looking into the eyes of God. He found the source of life that day. God became his good.
Jonathan Edwards says it like this,
“God in seeking his glory seeks the good of his creatures, because the emanation of his glory (which he seeks and delights in, as he delights in himself and his own eternal glory) implies the communicated excellency and happiness of his creatures.”
God communicates His Glory, Himself, to us. This is where life, happiness and, yes, healing is found. Today, you can experience the Glory of God and the greatest happiness of all. In the Presence of the Lord is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures evermore. Just as the lame man found far more than he bargained for that day, you can find more life than you ever imagined as you draw near to God. He loves you so much that He wants to give you His best. Maybe you are just looking for a healing, or a financial breakthrough; when you get close to Him you will find more than you hoped for. You may get your miracle, but you will also get His best gift, Himself. After today you can join together with Jonathan Edwards and say “God Himself is my good.”

THE DOUBLE CURE

THE DOUBLE CURE

But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Mk 2:10-12

“How can this man forgive sins? Who does he think he is? Only God can forgive sins.”
The Pharisees were angry. They felt the words of Jesus were blasphemous. They were indignant at what they were seeing and hearing that day. They had a detailed system in Judaism to deal with sin. Animals had to be sacrificed. They had no idea who Jesus was. He was actually that sacrificial lamb. He was the fulfillment of all the old testament types and shadows. Not only is He the promised messiah, He is the Lamb of God that takes away our sin. He could forgive sin because He was going to die for our sins. He was telling the lame man that he was taking responsibility for his sin. That is why He could say, “Your sins are forgiven”.
Sin has caused mankind all sorts of misery and suffering. Until sin entered the world, our world was filled with life and health. When sin came, all of our problems began. Think of the problems you are facing in life. Ultimately, all of them stem from our sin problem. When Jesus died for our sin, He brought the answer to all of life’s dilemmas. Today, Jesus has a solution for every situation you are in. The answer begins with forgiveness, “Son, your sins are forgiven”.
This is where your life begins.
This paralyzed man thought he was coming for a healing in his body. He had no idea he needed healing for his soul. As he felt the cleansing power of God sweeping over him, he realized how enslaved he had been. He had been imprisoned by the guilt and shame of his past. That was all over now. His sins were forgiven. He was healed. He had received the double cure. Not only could he live a normal life, finally free from paralysis, but he was free from sin. Jesus had given this man new life. What about you? Draw near to the Lord. Confess your sin to the Lord, you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. Your sins are forgiven, Jesus has made you whole.