When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” [Mark 2:5] If this paralyzed man was like most of us, he was thinking, “Why is Jesus telling me I am forgiven when it is plain to everyone present I am paralyzed? Can’t He see the sweat on the faces of my friends who have carried me and my bed all this way so I could be healed of my paralysis and get out of this bed?”

Aren’t you glad Jesus is smarter than we are? He knew this man needed forgiveness for his past sins more than he needed healing for his body. Why brother, that makes no sense whatsoever. Dear friends, This man had a sin problem and his sin problem was directly tied to his health problems.  Do you see that? And Jesus knew if this man was forgiven of his sins by God, then the rest of his problems would be taken care of. The paralytic didn’t have a clue as to what the root cause of his problem was anymore than we do. That’s why we run to the doctor every time we have a pain instead of examining our relationship with the Lord. The majority of our problems are spiritual, not physical. But instead of understanding our problem is more than likely spiritual, we treat the physical symptom of our disease which in most cases is a result of sin in our life.  And like the man in this story, we base our prognosis up the amount of pain we feel in our body, when in truth the pain itself is nothing more than a symptom of a much deeper problem. Wherever we feel the most pain must be where the problem lies. Don’t we think like that when we have an ailment? Who teaches us these things? We didn’t learn them from God, or from His Word. We learn them from unbelievers who don’t know God and even less about the results of their sin. This man enjoyed a sin filled life until it caught up to him. Then his sin wasn’t much fun anymore and in all likelihood he had turned bitter. I don’t know one happy paralyzed sinner. Do You? Do you see sin had stolen the paralytics livlihood, he couldn’t support himself or his family anymore, and sin was in the process of taking his life from him when he was taken to Jesus? Thank God for the faith of his friends. Remember the words Mark wrote, “When Jesus saw their faith.” Whose faith did He see? The faith of the paralytic or the faith of the men who carried him on his bed to where Jesus was preaching. I believe Jesus saw the faith of the four men who lowered the paralytic down through the hole in the roof. That’s whose faith I believe He saw. I doubt very seriously if the paralytic had any faith because of the pain coursing throughout his body as a result of his paralysis. Jesus could have taken care of the pain, but that wouldn’t have solved the mans problem. Therefore, Jesus went straight to the root of the problem. He didn’t mess around with the symptoms of the paralytic’s sin like most of our college trained physicians do today. Jesus doesn’t numb the pain caused by the symptom; He treats the root cause of our problem. When the root is dead everything attached to it dies. Do you understand? Sin was the root of the paralytics problem; it wasn’t the paralysis he was suffering. 

Now there were some scribes sitting there who reasoned in their hearts, “Why does this man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” I chuckled when I read the reasoning of the scribes. If they knew that only God could forgive sins, and Jesus was forgiving this man of his sins, then Jesus was God even though He was in the flesh. They knew God was coming to earth to establish His kingdom at some point in time and would do everything that God had done among His people in the past by the hands of His prophets, but for some reason they couldn’t understand what they were seeing and hearing. And I believe the problem preventing the scribes from believing that Jesus was the Son of God was they couldn’t get past their religious training long enough to see the end results of the things Jesus was doing among the people. But Jesus in His ever-present kindness to mankind, even to the unbelievers and accusers, said to the scribes, “Why do you reason 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 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.” He arose, took up his 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!”

What we need to learn from this story is that everything we need from God to make our life complete is in His forgiveness. Before we can be pardoned of our sins, we have to be forgiven. Forgiveness is the key to a healthy Christian life. When Jesus was on the cross, one of the last things He said was, “It is finished.” That means every work God set out to do in behalf of man was done. It was complete. There is nothing left for Him to do to rescue man from the clutches of Satan. When we are forgiven, nothing separates us from God, and every blessing written in His Word belongs to us. Forgiveness is not something we work for, it is freely given by God when we submit to Him. It’s that simple. There is nothing we can do to make Him forgive us anymore than there is anything we can do to make a friend forgive us for something we did against them. Forgiveness is freely given, it cannot be earned. But once forgiveness is granted, all the ill will separating us from Him has been swept aside and our slate is wiped clean just as though we had never sinned. God describes it this way. “As far as the east is from the west is how far God cast our sin from us.” My paraphrase. If you have never asked God to forgive you of your sins; do so now. A new life awaits you. A life far greater than anything you can imagine or dream. DThrash


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