It is morning, early in the morning. The birds are singing, the pale grey of early dawn begins to fill the room, the coffee is hot, and my Bible is before me. This summer, I have challenged myself to read through the Bible in 60 days. I actually created a bullet journal collection in my planner to help me track what to read and divided it up by Old and New Testament (so I am reading a bit of both each day). I have been in awe of how God reveals new things *every time* I read them. What spoke to me the last time might be completely different from this time around. I love how His word is living, not just a dusty old book! This morning I was reading the passage about Jesus forgiving and healing the paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12 NIV).
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. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 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?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 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!”
Focusing on the Wrong Issue
Here comes a man who is paralyzed, he hears about these healings and he (or his friends) think ‘This is it! This is your chance, let’s go!’ They are so determined to see him healed that they dig a hole in the roof and lower their friend down to Jesus! Jesus, seeing they have the faith, doesn’t heal the man. Instead he says, “Your sins are forgiven.” Imagine what that must have been like? In that moment, that man was there to be healed, instead he had his sins forgiven? Talk about a let down!!! The teachers of the law were up in arms, ‘who are you to forgive sins?’ And I just love Jesus’ response, this is the kicker:
Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
You see, the healing was the side issue, it wasn’t really important. The real sickness that God saw was not the fact that the man was physically paralyzed, but his sin. Jesus had given his disciples authority to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10). There were 12 other people who could have healed this man with but a word. But who among them could forgive his sins? What was the priority?
Focusing our Perspective
It is SO easy to get caught up with the physical, with the natural world around us. It is easy to become completely blinded with just living our lives based on what we can taste, feel, touch, hear, and see. But as Christians, we have the ability to see behind the curtain. The things that distract us from the real heart of the issue, things like sickness and busyness and financial struggles and broken relationships… these are just a symptom! We need to look beyond, we need focus our perspective on things that are eternal, on the state of our hearts.
In the end, I think Jesus had every intention of healing that man. He chose to put the emphasis on the heart so that they would see that he had the authority to forgive sin here on earth. It was a strategic move on his behalf. But I think he dealt with it that way for you and me too, thousands of years later. I think he knew that we in the 21st century would need this reminder more than any before us. To keep our perspective on what really matters. To start seeing with our spiritual eyes and not depending so heavily on our natural ones.
What do you think? Comment below!
Don’t forget you can find us on Instagram HERE. If you want to join me in my “Read through the Bible in 60 days” challenge, here is a look at my schedule! You can click on the image to check out my planning page for more bullet journal inspiration.