Tuesday, June 30

Power Over Sin

Mark 2: 1-12

Jesus continues to show His compassion for people as He again provides emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. In this familiar story, Jesus returns home to Capernaum, to preach the word. And I'm sure that word was what He proclaimed in Mark 1:15-20, "The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Maybe most of the town had been healed by now? Jesus could get down to this part of His business on earth. His compassion was for the whole person as His message expands to include, "Your sins are forgiven."

Who else were there? The people of Capernaum crowded the place but see Luke 10:15 about them; the disciples were there, the owner of the house and ...

Suspicious Teachers
Maybe these guys, Pharisees and teachers of the law, got here very early to listen to Jesus, before everyone else. In the Luke 5:17-26 version it says that they were "sitting" while everyone else was standing! They were the hypocritical keepers of laws, they decided who sinned, who was forgiven, and what it would cost. When Jesus said that the mans' sins were forgiven they started to question and blame Him amongst themselves. And Jesus knew what they were talking about! Note to self - If we have questions, go ahead and ask Him. The Spirit knows what we are thinking anyway.

Faithful Friends
They overcame obstacles to get their friend to Jesus. And Jesus recognized their them for it, "When Jesus saw their faith". What an example of determination, love and daring. Note to self - follow their example!

Paralysed Man
Again we have an image of a man doomed, like last week. At that time the thinking was that the worse the disease, the worse was the sin that was committed. And the only way to be healed was to repent, and being paralyzed that wasn't going to happen. This is also a vivid description of ourselves and of a lost world. Jesus cut through all of that, for us and for the man.

And Jesus does this all with so much compassion. His first words are "Son", an emotional healing and a restoration to the family, to Jesus' family.

Then, "your sins are forgiven." What are the consequences of sin? Separation from God. This is a spiritual healing that restored the connection between God and this man.

Then, what was more difficult to do? Forgive sins or heal? Jesus said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." An action was required and a place of restoration was given. The response of the people who saw this was amazement; literally "it blew their mind."

Lessons and Questions and Statements

Friends get friends to Jesus
Jesus Heals
A Response to Healing Happens

Am I paralysed or what is keeping me paralysed? What is the mat that I am laying on and what is keeping me there? Do I need my relationship with God restored? Do I have friends who need to be healed by Jesus?
What was my response to my healing?

Tim (whose mind is blown!)

Thursday, June 25

Power in Compassion

Mark 1:40-45

from 6/21/09

"A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. "I am willing, be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Leprosy was a condemnation of death. You were an outcast and considered dead while you were still alive. You had to avoid all contact with people and even yell out "Unclean" if anyone came near. Your cloths were ragged, your hair was unkempt and you probably stank. You weren't even allowed to worship in the temple.

Jesus, so filled with compassion, was willing and was powerful enough to beat death.

First His touch, before anything else, gave emotional healing. How long had it been since that man had been touched by anyone? What would that have been like?
Then the man was given physical healing - the leprosy left him. (Did he smell good now?) And finally, he was given spiritual healing when told that he was cleansed and to present himself to the priests so that he could worship again in the temple.

What if my sins showed on me the same way that leprosy showed on the man?
Would I feel sorry for myself or would I seek healing? Would I believe? Would I rejoice and celebrate and tell everyone I knew the good news when I was cleansed?

Do I?
Did I?

Three Healings

Mark 1:29-38

From 6/14/09

Healing #1. The mother-in-law of Simon. Jesus showed compassion when he touched her. And her response? Service. My response to my healing? Service also!

Healing #2. After sunset, so it was legal to travel. After a day of teaching, Mark says that all the town, all the sick, all the demon possesed showed up at the house for healing. How long did that take? Was that an all-nighter?

Healing #3. Jesus needed to "heal" himself. Maybe the word heal is a stretch, but He needed to restore Himself. After a late night of healing, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and prayed. Jesus went to His power source. Even though He is fully God and fully human, He is not super-man. He needed to, just like I need to, get re-charged and take time to listen and to talk with God.