Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
I’ve heard this story (you can get the whole story below) since I was a kid. I have read Mark 2 a lot. I think about it often as a picture of genuine friendship and the incredible declaration of divinity made by Jesus when he forgave the man’s sins. But last night at our Alpha Course the Lord pressed me on another angle:
The paralyzed man had faith too.
In my mind and in most sermons its just been the faith of the four friends that Jesus saw.. because they were the ones in motion. They were the ones doing all the work. They were the ones tearing a hole in the roof. They were the ones finding a solution to the barriers between Jesus and their friend. But last night it hit me, Jesus saw “their” faith. There are 5 guys and some faith and Jesus saw them all.
The paralyzed man must have had some faith. He doesn’t seem to be protesting. There must have been a a conversation among the 5 guys beforehand. The man on the mat is a willing participant seeking Jesus.
I don’t know why but I never saw this before! But this realization is full of grace and delight for me! And I’m loving God even more today because of it!
When I can’t perform as others might want…
When I can’t move with grace and power…
When I can’t do everything I wish I could do…
When I can’t express all that I hope for…
When I can’t forgive myself…
When I can’t …
Jesus can act on the smallest glimmers of faith in Him that are in me.
Jesus sees past all that is left undone and He acts on the faith we turn towards Him. He does what seems impossible. And right there Jesus saw past all the “able bodies” and saw right into this man’s heart and did a miracle. Forgiveness! The miracle of a forgiven and cleansed life is priceless! And then Jesus showed the crowd He really did have the authority to do the larger and more costly act of forgiveness, when He healed the man of his paralysis.
Jesus will act on our faith even if for a time all we can do is lay in bed.
What little glimmers of faith in Jesus, the Creator, the Conquer of death, the Redeemer, the Shepherd of our Souls, are you turning toward Him?
He sees. He hears. He acts.
Mark 2:1- 12 NLT
1When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.
5Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
6But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7“What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
8Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
12And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”