2.21.2015 Saturday Mark 2:1-17 Jesus forgives and heals a paralytic
Jesus heals a lame man
There is mercy in Jesus’ forgiveness and healing. He forgives and heals a paralytic. Jesus heals a man, which leads to a controversy with religious leaders. Jesus demonstrates that He has the authority and power to forgive sins and to heal a physical ailment, in this case, paralysis. The man was carried to Jesus for physical healing, but Jesus sees his need in spiritual healing. There is a connection between sin and sickness. Only God can heal physical and spiritual diseases. Jesus as the Son of Man, forgives the man’s sins and is charged with blasphemy which is punishable by death. This same authority is exercised by ordering the paralytic to get up and go home.
On the basis of the four men’s faith, Jesus gave absolution to the paralytic. Their faith was evident. They would not have carried the man to Jesus if they did not believe He could and would heal him. They were so concerned and determined to get him to Jesus that they tore open a roof and carefully, with great effort, lowered him into the crowded room. Does this answer whether others can have faith for us? Is there a vicarious faith? The prayers of the faithful on our behalf are answered because thy pray in faith.
Forgiveness is Christ’s greatest gift to the world. It is the answer to our greatest need. Jesus proved that He had the right to forgive sins with this miracle of healing. He proved it also by reading the thoughts of the Scribes, thoughts they believed were concealing in their hearts. With this gift of forgiveness we can be helped to face every other need with confidence in our Father’s love. Not all Christians appreciate the forgiveness of sins. Satan directs their attention to other things. People are too concerned with the body. Some doubt God’s love for them. Sickness suggests that God is angry. On the other hand, some are able to suffer pain cheerfully, committing themselves completely into the hands of the Lord. Let us then encourage each other, committing ourselves to the Father’s care.
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth your right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.