The Power of Forgiveness

November 13, 2016 Series: The Drama of the Gospel: What It is and How It Changes Everything

Passage: Mark 2:1–2:12

What do you expect when you turn to Jesus? Do you always get what you expect? Or even want? This morning we are looking at an account out of the gospel of Mark where four friends bring their other friend who happens to be a paralytic to Jesus for healing. And what they get is certainly not what they could ever have been expecting. What do we learn about Jesus and about life in His kingdom from this passage? First, we learn about the surprise of spiritual dynamics. The friends bring their friend to Jesus for healing and instead He forgives the man his sins. Yes, He does heal eventually heal him, showing that He cares about this man completely, physically as well as spiritually. But what a surprise for this man. Obviously Jesus knows something the man doesn’t. And that is our primary need for forgiveness and the power of forgiveness. Second, we learn of the vulnerability of spiritual dynamics. There is a vulnerability with both giving and receiving love. Think of the vulnerability of the four friends and what they had to do to bring their friend to Jesus. When was the last time we cut a hole in somebody’s roof in order to bring one of our friends to Jesus? And what about the paralytic man? He had to lay out on the mat and be completely vulnerable in order to allow his friends into his life and receive their love for him.

The final piece of vulnerability is Jesus. One of the things we see in this passage is the beginning of conflict between Jesus and the spiritual leaders of the day. This will only intensify as the gospel progresses. When Jesus asks the scribes which is easier for him to say, your sins are forgiven or get up and walk, this is not as easy a question as it might appear. For while at first glance it might look like it is easier to simply say your sins are forgiven Jesus knows what it will take in order to effect forgiveness and be our Savior. It will take His death. He will die in order to be our Savior.

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