Thursday 6th December
“Stand up, pick up your mat, and GO HOME!!” (verse 10)
When Jesus turns up in your life, expect change. When Jesus comes to our churches, expect people to be saved. When Jesus came to Capernaum His hometown, news spread. Jesus had come home and people wanted to hear what He had to say. Mark says in His gospel that the house they were congregating in was so full that there was not even room outside the door!
As He was preaching four men came to the house bringing their friend on a mat. This stands as an encouragement to us to not be ashamed in bringing Jesus into peoples lives, whether that be in church, work, in our homes or elsewhere. When Jesus shows Himself to us or through us, we have to be ready to expect something supernatural to take place. The friends of the paralysed man expected Jesus to heal their friend. They must have carried a fair distance yet they were determined to see Jesus.
Verse 4 tells us that the house being full did not deter the friends from getting to Jesus. In an act of complete faith they climbed to the top of the roof and begun to dig through it. These were no easy feats as the roof was most probably made of hardened clay/mud and carrying a paralysed to the roof would have been just as difficult. Yet they persisted. As they lowered their friend from the roof, Jesus looked up and saw THEIR faith.
Upon seeing THEIR faith Jesus says to the paralytic man that his sins were forgiven. This would have been a surreal picture and a controversial thing to say as many teachers of the law were present. Not only did a man just get lowered from the roof, Jesus commends the friends for their faith and not the mans. Then to top it off He says his sins are forgiven and the man stays paralysed. Yet Jesus had a reason for this.
After being accused of blasphemy for His statement, Jesus questions what is easier; to forgive sins or to heal the paralysed man? Of course it is easier to say your sins are forgiven because you cannot see the result of that. But Jesus proving that He was God not only forgave sins but in verse 11 He commands the paralysed man to get up and go home. He jumps up, grabs his mat and walks out the door. Mark says that they were ALL amazed and praised God.
Not only did Jesus heal the man and forgive his sins but He showed 100s of people including religious leaders that He was indeed God, for it is God alone who can forgive sins and the miracle was the proof that He was who He said He was.
Surround yourself with friends who can carry you in faith when you feel down or have no strength and remember when Jesus comes to town; expect Him to change lives dramatically.