Encountering the Real Jesus

Keith Chandler, Journey Christian Church

Over the next few months, we are getting up close and personal with Jesus using the book of Mark as our backdrop. The closer you get to Jesus, the more your life will change.

The first half of Mark explains that Jesus has become King over all things (he has authority over everything). The second half of Mark is his purpose in dying on the cross. I want to look at this story (Mark 2:1-12) through whatever is consuming you right now.

Because your felt need may not be your deepest need. Your pressing need may not be your primary need. We often come to God with what we want and lose sight of what we need most.

“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.” Mark 2:1-2

The entire town comes to Peter’s house. They are hoping Jesus can heal them too.

“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4

The typical house in those days had a flat roof with beams. They would take grass and mud and sticks and make this hard thatch covering that would become water proof. Each fall they would take them down and put up a new roof to prepare for the winter’s rain.

Imagine Jesus is teaching in this packed room and they start hearing scratching on the roof (squirrels?), then mud and grass starts falling around Jesus. That’s when Jesus addresses something that doesn’t seem relevant.

When Jesus saw their faith, the faith of his friends who say, “If we can just get him to Jesus, we know he’s gonna walk out of here,” Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

“That’s great, Jesus, but we didn’t bring our friend here to have his sins forgiven.

We went to all this trouble so that you could HEAL him, NOT forgive him.

Your sins are forgiven? That’s a huge let down. We’re not here for forgiveness, we are here for a miracle.”
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” Mark 2:6-7

To say “Your sins are forgiven,” means you’re equating yourself with God. So one group in this room is disappointed because they thought they would see a miracle. And the religious group is angry because he’s claiming to do what only God can do.

“Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?” Mark 2:8

Jesus is saying his pressing need is not his primary need. We can relate because for us, the most important things in our life are health, prosperity, companionship, and recognition. But you know what’s NOT on our list? Forgiveness.

We don’t see it as a need. When sin entered the world it brought sickness and disease and death. When Jesus says he has authority over sin, he’s gonna prove it by his authority over the consequences of sin.

I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. Jesus looks at this paralyzed man and he says, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Mark 2:10-11
This is what they’ve come for.

There are two reasons Jesus healed people:

1. Because he had compassion on them.

2. To point to his identity.

“He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’” Mark 2:12

They celebrated the temporary, but they totally missed the eternal. Do you know why? Because they’re like us. We’re so consumed with the temporary in our life we completely miss the eternal. Your deepest need is a connection with the Father.

My most pressing need isn’t money or health. It’s not so people will recognize me. Our most pressing need is forgiveness.

Until next month,

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