TUESDAY, JULY 24
SCRIPTURE: Mark 2
This chapter finds Jesus back in Capernaum. This seemed to be one of His favorite communities to hang out in. It was in a beautiful location on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. This is where Peter lived. He was probably in Peter’s house when this first event occurred.
A crowd had gathered to see Jesus. There were so many people that there was not room for one more. That’s when four friends devised a most ingenious way of getting their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They knocked a hole in the roof and let their friend down by ropes.
I want us to take a look at this particular scene through the eyes of Jesus. The first thing we should consider is that Jesus looked up. As he was teaching, particles from the roof would have undoubtedly fallen around him. As anyone normally would, he looked up. There he saw the four friends.
But he saw more than the four friends. He saw their faith. We typically don’t think of faith as something we can see but as James teaches us in his epistle, we should most certainly be able to see the result of faith or the actions of faith. These four friends went to great lengths to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus.
So, he looked up to see the friends. Next, he would have looked down to see the paralytic. Notice that the first thing Jesus did was offer forgiveness for the man’s sins. Undoubtedly everyone around that house that day would have said this man’s greatest need was to be healed from his paralysis. But Jesus knew differently. He knows our greatest need is forgiveness of our sin.
In fact, Jesus’ forgiveness of our sin is the unparalleled greatest miracle that He performs. It is the greatest miracle because it addresses the greatest need. It has the greatest price. It brings about the greatest change. It produces the greatest blessings. And it has the most lasting benefits.
Jesus looked to see the friends. He looked down to see the man. Next, he looked around to see the crowd that had gathered. He would have seen people of all stripes, sorts, and categories. The rich and the poor. The irreligious and the religious. The somebodies and the nobodies. The well known and the unknown. All of them had a variety of needs. All of them had the same need. But he would have not just looked at them. Jesus has the remarkable ability to look within them.
And that’s the next thing we find in this story. He looks within the religious leaders and saw the questions they had in their hearts. Actually those weren’t questions. They were accusations. Instead of rejoicing in the healing of this man, they wanted to attack Jesus for what they perceived to be blasphemy. They missed the whole point.
Sadly, it is a pretty easy thing to miss the whole point. We can do it and not even know we did it. The point is that Jesus came with the glorious Gospel and pointed men to the only way that anyone can get to heaven. And for the most part people came to Jesus for two reasons. One, to watch Him perform miracles. Two, to condemn Him for performing miracles.
The thing we need the most is not to see the miracle but to experience personally the miracle worker. There is none like Him! He can do what no other can! He is our only hope for this life and the next.