WHAT TO LOOK FOR
We’re nearly one month in to our Bible reading for the year, and we’ve already completed the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the synoptic Gospels. These are three accounts from different men, all testifying to the same matter of events, simply from different vantage points. The Gospel of Matthew focused in many places on the sermons and preaching ministry of Jesus. Now we begin the Gospel of Mark, which focuses in many places on the miracles and humanity of Jesus. Both fully God and fully man, we will read and witness both the divine and human natures of the single person Jesus Christ.
In the second chapter of Mark, we read about Jesus miraculously healing a paralyzed man. While loving the least of these among Him, Jesus declares, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In this chapter Jesus addresses two types of people. On the one hand, you have the dirty people, sinners and tax collectors. They know they’re filthy and weighed down with sins. And they’ve heard of a man Jesus, the only one who can clean, heal, and forgive them. On the other hand, you have the self-righteous Pharisees, who wanted everyone around them to see their “devotion to God” and who loved it when people saw their “sacrifices,” but who in reality were lacking true faith and obedience to God.
Now, imagine if you were paralyzed. Imagine being unable to take care of the basic necessities of your life. This paralyzed man could not pick himself up, walk along, or do any number of the things which we take for granted. And so this man heard about Jesus who could heal him.
As this paralyzed man’s friends lowered him in through the roof of the house where Jesus was, we read that He saw their faith. They had faith, knowing that if Jesus was willing, this paralyzed man would be healed. And then what does Jesus say? Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Only after this did Jesus give the man something temporal by healing him so that he could walk. But first and more importantly, Jesus first gave the man what he needed, which was forgiveness of sins.
Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, is the one who has real authority on earth to forgive sins. Don’t be like the scribes and Pharisees, who were unwilling to see their need of the Savior. Instead, follow the example of the paralytic, who had real faith in Christ and was forgiven all his sins!
VERSE TO MEDITATE ON
It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
HOW TO PRAY
- Adoration – Praise Jesus Christ that he has authority to forgive sins.
- Confession – Confess ways you have been like the scribes and Pharisees, self-righteous and unwilling to see your need of Jesus’ forgiveness.
- Thanksgiving – Thank God that He has mercy on the least of these, and gives us all we need for life and godliness.
- Supplication – Pray that we would be faithful witnesses of our forgiveness in Christ, and that the Lord would advance His kingdom.