Mark 2:1-3- And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.” NKJV
I’m excited about today’s blog! While in my previous blog, I tried to focus on the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, moving forward, I want to focus on His ministry and how it applies today.
Jesus has arrived in Capernaum, and after being there for a few days, the people begin to hear that He is in the house. We know that He is in a physical home, but as a preacher, I also know that it is a beautiful thing for Jesus to be in the house! When Jesus is in the place, anything can happen! Because Mark doesn’t specify where they are and just uses the phrase that He is in the house, we will assume that He is at Simon’s and Andrew’s home again.
A crowd gathers at the house, and Jesus preached! We know He preached the gospel because He only had one message, the kingdom of God is at hand! As Jesus is preaching, four men arrive with a friend who was paralyzed. Mark doesn’t explain if the man wanted to go to Jesus and asked his friends to take him or if they heard about Jesus and insisted that he go to see Jesus. We don’t know for sure. But what we do know is that they went to Jesus to receive healing for their friend.
When they got to the house, it was crowded. People were everywhere, and there was no way to get to Jesus. Instead of giving up or sitting around until hopefully, they could see Jesus, and they took matters into their own hands:
And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.”Mark 2:4 NKJV
Can you imagine sitting in your house with friends and someone tears your roof off? We know it wasn’t the shingle or clay tiles on roofs today, but the concept remains that they took apart Simon’s rooftop to get to Jesus, letting down the cot and the man for Jesus to see.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Mark 2:5 NKJVMark 2:5 NKJV
When Jesus saw their faith! What does faith look like? Can you see it? According to this verse, faith can be visible, and Jesus saw their collective faith! The friends agreed that if they could just get to Jesus, everything would be alright!
Jesus does something unexpected! Instead of laying hands on the man or speaking words of healing over the man, Jesus forgives his sins! What? The scribes were confused at Jesus’ words. They thought that Jesus was out of order, for only God can forgive sins. Listen to their thoughts:
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”Mark 2:6-7 NKJV
Mark is clear that the scribes never said a word. They just thought this in their heart. And Jesus perceived it. Haven’t you ever been in a crowd or talking with someone and were able to perceive their thoughts? Well, what Jesus did was more than get a feeling about what they were thinking; He actually told them what they were thinking.
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?” Mark 2:8 NKJVMark 2:8 NKJV
If you follow me, you will remember that a few weeks ago, I blogged on the gifts listed in Romans 12. One of those gifts is the perceiver or prophet gift. As the prophet of God, Jesus saw precisely what was in their heart and told them. He perceived their uneasiness with what He had said. People with this gift can also perceive the environment that they are in, maybe not as accurate as Jesus, but others have been gifted to do this.
Jesus continues with these words:
“ Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”Mark 2:9-11 NKJV
An essential truth about the gospel of Jesus has been demonstrated in this passage; there is a direct spiritual connection between forgiveness of sins and physical healing. In Matthew, when Peter’s mother-in-law and the others were healed, Matthew wrote that it was in fulfillment of the verse in Isaiah:
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV
This theme in the word of God is woven throughout the fabric of the New Testament, but today I can just briefly mention it. Salvation and healing are connected in the word of God. Many come to Jesus like the leper in chapter 1, “if you are willing,” but in chapter 2, we begin to see that He is not only willing but it is provided in the kingdom.
Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”Mark 2:12 NKJV
Immediately the man was healed as he and his friends believed that he would be! I think the church world as a whole has been so bent on telling us that God doesn’t heal anymore that we genuinely don’t expect anything to happen for us when we ask. As a minister of the gospel, I have laid hands on people who have been healed and on people who have not been healed. After I prayed for her, someone told me, “I knew nothing was going to happen”. Then why were you wasting my time, I thought?
My prayer for this series of blogs is to increase our hunger and thirst for the supernatural God of the word. That we won’t be satisfied any longer with just a deep conviction of our salvation but will obtain a deep assurance that Jesus is alive and still willing and able to do what He did when He walked on this earth! Wonderful Jesus!