April 11

Mark 2:4-5 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Jesus spent time out in the wilderness areas so that He could minister to those who had desperate needs. They are the ones that would make the journey to meet with Him. On one return visit to Capernaum, the crowd was so thick that some men broke open the roof to lower their paralyzed friend down to Jesus, who was teaching inside.

Jesus saw the faith of this man's friends and told him his sins were forgiven. Immediately Jesus sensed the religious leaders' unbelief in His ability to forgive sin. Sins are offenses against God. Only the one offended has the right to forgive. To help the crowd understand that He had the power to forgive, He asked them which was easier, to forgive sins, or to say to a paralyzed man, "Stand and walk"? Then He declared that it was so they would know He had power to forgive sins that He told the man to rise and walk.

I can imagine the sense of anticipation in the room. The crowd had probably seen this man for years, lying on his mat. Then the wonder of his getting up must have put them in total awe. The passage says they were amazed and praised God. Now they had to face a religious paradigm shift. All their lives they had looked to sacrifices as the means to God's forgiveness. The man standing before them said it is in His power to forgive and make them right with God. When Jesus shows up in our lives, a lot of our theology goes out the window, and we realize it is all about Him. He has the authority to make us right with God. He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We need only come to Him in faith.

Consider: I hope this encourages you to take others to Him in faith. When He sees your faith in what He can do for your friend, He will forgive them, too.