The heart behind these posts is to explore the bible together, and to try and apply what it says to our lives, to genuinely let the Word of God affect us on a Monday as well as a Sunday.
For the next sixteen weeks we will be looking each week at a chapter of Mark. I would encourage you to read through the whole chapter at least once as well as the specific chunks we’ll be focusing on.
Mark is the shortest of the four gospels that show the life of Jesus. It is the action film, it is fast and punchy.
Mark 2 has four controversial stories, which reveal Jesus’ authority as well as showing the Jewish leaders dislike of him. It kicks off with Jesus healing a paralysed man, and in this passage we begin to see what happens when Jesus shows up.
W W J D
In verses 1-2 it says that when the news spread that Jesus was around a whole bunch of people piled in the house and even filled the street outside. When people hear of who Jesus is, and what He does and can do, people will try their hardest to meet Him, to see Him, to hear Him, to be in His presence.
This is true then, and true now.
When we look to share our faith, when we evangelise, we don’t have to know all the clever answers about creation, or even to know why natural disasters happen, as useful as though answers are. But what we need to do is spread the news of Jesus, talk about who He is and what He does. Our lives in every area need to point to Him.
This is a massive challenge to everyone who loves Jesus, and it’s something we regularly need to check we are doing. Francis of Assisi said: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” This is a massive quote. We need to tell people about Jesus. But actually, the way we act, the way we handle certain situations, the life choices we make should point to Jesus just as much.
The way to make sure our lives point to Jesus is to focus everything on Him, to allow Jesus to be the centre of our lives. I have a wristband which has the letters “W W J D” on it which means What Would Jesus Do. To ask that question when faced with decisions helps me to live a life focused on Him. We need to live lives all about Jesus.We need to live lives all about Jesus. Click To Tweet
Jesus gives us what we need
The paralysed guy came hoping to be able to leave walking, he thinks this is the most important thing he needs, he thinks this is the main thing Jesus will give him. Jesus knows best though, and in verse 5 Jesus says “my child, your sins are forgiven” which in itself shows the power Jesus has, it shows that He is God.
At this point however a bunch of the religious leaders began to heckle and things began to get heated. The leaders didn’t believe that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, as they didn’t believe He was the Son of God. But Jesus says in verse 10 that He will prove He has the authority to forgive sins by healing the paralysed man. Then Jesus turns to the guy and says “stand up, pick up your mat and go home” and the man just jumps up!
The guy who was paralysed one moment suddenly just stands up! And the crazy thing is that in Jesus’ thinking, the man having His sins forgiven was the best bit, the most important thing- and this is something we need to realise. Quite often we can be upset that God hasn’t answered a prayer the way we wanted it to be answered or our relationship with Jesus can get a little shaky because we haven’t had a spiritual encounter for a few Sundays and we forget that actually the best bit is that we can have a relationship with God because our sins are forgiven.
This should be the thing we see as the most important bit, yet we still get side-tracked by stuff like being unsure about the future or about the hard things going on around us.
Nothing will stop them from getting their friend to meet Jesus
The four friends of this guy see that the house and surrounding area is packed so they climb onto the roof and dig a hole in the roof (of a house which isn’t theirs) and then lowered the guy down.
These guys were so desperate for their friend to meet Jesus that not even a crowd (of ‘important’ people) or a roof was going to get in their way.
How desperate are we to see our friends encounter Jesus? This challenges me to stick my neck out and talk to my friends about Jesus, or invite them to Church, even if I get the mick taken out of me, because I desperately want to see them encounter God.
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