WE HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!
“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!”
In the passage of scripture, the Gospel of Mark records an unusual day in the life of Jesus. He had come home to his family’s house in the city of Capernaum. Crowds of people began to gather around to experience his preaching and healing. Four men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. But the crowds were so big they could not get close. Undaunted, they dug through the roof and lowered their friend with ropes so He could meet Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.” But the Pharisees nearby criticized Him. “Who can forgive sins except God alone,” they asked, leading to the healing event described above in our focus scripture.
1. Why did Jesus do physical miracles to legitimize his spiritual teachings? How do you think the healing the paralyzed man show that Jesus had the power to forgive sins?
2. After Jesus healed the paralyzed man, “…everyone praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this before.’” Name some ways Jesus is different from anyone before or after who has ever lived.
3. Jesus said to the man, “Take your mat and go home.” At other times, though, He asked individuals to leave their homes and jobs to follow Him. Why do you think God calls some to foreign missions and others to be effective Christian witnesses at home? How can we know what Jesus is calling us to do?
1. BRING FRIENDS TO JESUS. It was hard for the paralyzed man’s friends to bring him to Jesus. They had to carry him on a mat. And when they could not get him through the crowds they lowered him through the roof. What an example to us today! Do whatever you can to bring your friend to the Lord!
2. BE WILLING TO ENDURE DISCOMFORT. As our church grows it is becoming harder and harder to park and find a seat sometimes in worship service and Sunday School. We will be announcing a plan in the Fall to provide more room. But until that time, don’t quit attending and inviting others to meet Jesus!
Jesus, thank you for laying down your life on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. You endured humiliation, pain, and suffering to bring us eternal life. So help me to be willing to endure some hardship and inconvenience to bring my friends to You. And I pray for my friends and family who have not yet received the gift of salvation. Help me to bring them to You. And help them to understand your word and know how selfless you are. Open their eyes to see the love you have for them and let them look up to you. AMEN.