Malankara World Journal
Great Lent Week 3, Paralytic, Charity
Volume 6 No. 332 February 19, 2016
II. Lectionary Reflections on
3rd Sunday of Great Lent - Paralytic
by Dale LewisGospel: Mark 2:1-12 Introduction In chapter 2 Mark records for us another day in Capernaum with the Son of God and the authority of His word. The story breaks apart into two sections:
Vs. 1-5 The healing of the paralyticVs. 1-5 Unorthodox Faith Vs. 1-2 Mark tells the reader that this story again has a familiar place as Jesus was in THE HOUSE in Capernaum. The only house that we have been introduced to so far in Mark is Peter's home. So many had come that they spilled out into the street, clearly as chapter 1 verse 28 had indicated Jesus' fame had spread throughout the region. Yet, with that said, notice that Jesus' method had not changed in spite of His fame and popularity as we see Him employed at "preaching the word to them". The word "preached" in the Greek is different word than a public proclamation, instead it is a word that means a conversation and it is in the imperfect tense which emphasizes a continuous action. So Jesus taught conversationally for an extended period of time. Mark's point is again is to show the focus of our Lord upon preaching the word.
Dare to do what is difficultVs. 5 That brings us to Jesus' response to their three examples of unorthodox faith as Jesus said, "Son, your sins are forgiven you". There are those that suggest that Jesus' pronouncement was based upon His knowledge that this man's paralysis was based upon some moral failure. Others go so far as to say that this man's paralysis was psychosomatic, or all in his head, and that Jesus removed the moral failing which lifted the paralysis. Though indirectly all diseases and the things that cause for human suffering are "sin related," the context of the passage in verse 2 where we are told that Jesus was "preaching the word to them" and, in fact, verse 5 shows that they interrupted that message. "Forgiveness is the greatest miracle that Jesus ever performs. It meets the greatest need; it costs the greatest price; and it brings the greatest blessing and the most lasting results." What good was it if the man had two whole legs, and walked right into hell with them? One wonders if the four friends were not initially disappointed in Jesus' words and thought, "He's not here for forgiveness! He's here for healing, that's why we tore apart the roof and he is on a bed!" Vs. 6-12 Right logic, wrong answer Vs. 6-7 The scribes' logic was correct. The flaw in it was the fact that Jesus held claim to the logic as He was God, the Son, and could alone forgive sins. The scribes observed a rabbi teaching but what they were unable to see was the Son of God standing before them. They were blind as to His identity and Jesus was going to reveal that to them twice: Vs. 8 The first revelation Jesus offers as to His identity is that "Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves". They were correct in their internal reasoning, "Only God can forgive sins" and His knowing of this, though they said nothing, should have revealed to them that God the Son was in front of them. God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 17:9-10 saying,
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind…"In psalm 139:4 we read that
"There is not a word on my tongue but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether."Vs. 9-11 In the 2nd revelation Jesus offers a more practical reasoning as He proposes a question that He then demonstrates the answer to so that they could not come to the wrong conclusion by evidence, only by hardness of heart. Notice how carefully Jesus words the question:
"Which is easier," "TO SAY to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven you" "OR TO SAY, Arise, take up your bed and walk?"Jesus did not phrase the question in terms of action: "which is easier TO DO?" They had already concluded that, though both would be difficult, ONLY GOD can DO the act by forgiving sins. Any charlatan could SAY "your sins are forgiven you". The only true proof of forgiveness of sins lies with God as there is no immediate outward sign or indication that it has happened. Jesus is saying to the scribes, "You question my identity to forgive sin? Let me demonstrate to you My identity and, as such, My power to forgive sins as it comes from the same source to heal." It is then the Paralytic became part of the sermon as Jesus turned to him and said, "I SAY to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Vs. 12 The outcome of this was that all except the scribes were amazed and rejoiced praising God saying,
"We never saw anything like this!"They stood amazed at the authority of the Word even though they didn't fully comprehend His identity which was the lesson.
by Mark A. CopelandGospel: Mark 2:1-12 INTRODUCTION 1. Among the miracles of Jesus, one of the better known is the healing of a paralytic...
a. Found in all three synoptic gospels - Mt 9:1-8; Mk 2:1-12; Lk 5:17-262. The occasion produced a range of emotions...
a. Jesus charged with blasphemy by some[The healing of the paralytic contains several valuable lessons for us today. Turning to Mark's account of the miracle (Mk 2:1-12), let's first read and examine...] I. THE NARRATIVE A. HELPFUL FRIENDS... 1. The place: the miracle occurs in Capernaum - Mk 2:1-2
a. Described as "His own city" - Mt 9:1; cf. Mt 4:132. The paralytic: His friends carry him to Jesus - Mk 2:3-4
a. Totally immobile, confined to a stretcher, unable to enter3. The pardon: Jesus forgives him of his sins - Mk 2:5
a. Jesus observes the faith of the paralytic and his friends-- It seems strange Jesus forgave him first rather than healed him, but Jesus' purpose will be revealed as we proceed B. HOSTILE FOES... 1. The disdain of the scribes: blasphemy! - Mk 2:6-7
a. Luke mentions both scribes and Pharisees - Lk 5:212. The defense of the Savior: He has power to forgive sin - Mk 2: 8-10
a. Jesus knew their hearts, their reasoning - cf. Jn 2:24-25-- Here is Jesus' purpose in forgiving before healing is revealed: to make known His divine power to forgive sins C. HAPPY FINALE... 1. For the paralytic: healed! - Mk 2:11-12a
a. Jesus tells him to arise, take up his bed, and go home2. For the people: amazed! - Mk 2:12
a. The crowd has never seen anything like this!-- A man healed, people amazed, Jesus' power made known, but most of all, God is glorified! [From helpful friends to hostile foes to a happy finale, the healing of the paralytic is a wonderful story. But it is more than just a story. There are lessons to be gleaned. Here, then, are...] II. SOME LESSONS A. THE POWER OF CHRIST TO FORGIVE SINS... 1. On earth, Jesus demonstrated His power to forgive sins
a. Not only in the case of the paralytic - Mk 2:5,10-112. From heaven, Jesus continues to have power to forgiven sins
a. Made possible by the shedding of His blood - Mt 26:28; Ep 1:7-- Have we looked to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins? B. THE PRECIOUSNESS OF FRIENDS WITH FAITH... 1. The paralytic was blessed with friends with faith
a. Jesus saw "their faith" - Mk 2:52. Do we have and appreciate friends with faith?
a. In His church, Jesus provides us with many friends with faith-- Nurture your network of friends with faith, and share your faith with them! C. THE PRIVILEGES SO EASILY SQUANDERED... 1. The miracle occurred in the city of Capernaum
a. Described as Jesus' "own city" - Mt 9:12. Have we squandered our privileges?
a. Living in a country where God's Word is freely accessible?-- We have been given much by the Lord, let us give much in return! CONCLUSION 1. The healing of the paralytic reveals a man...
a. Who was in need2. We all are like that paralyzed man...
a. With needs only Jesus can fulfillBut are we like the paralyzed man in regards to faith? His faith led to Jesus fulfilling his needs. May we have the same faith today...! Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2009
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