When Jesus healed the paralysed man who was lowered in front of him through a hole in the roof, he told him that his sins were forgiven. To the teachers of religious law present and to many today this was an odd thing to claim and seemingly nothing to do with healing a man’s disability. But Jesus was going much deeper here. He was demonstrating that healing comes from God which is only possible once a person’s sin has been forgiven. Jesus simply points out that because the four men had put all their faith in Him and brought their friend before Jesus by some considerable effort, the had effectively shown their faith. The verses from the beginning of the book of Leviticus below, are a faint whisper of the role Jesus himself will play as a perfect male sacrifice with no defects whose death will be accepted in our place in order to purify us from our sins and make us right with God.
Mark 2:3-12 NLT
Four men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralysed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralysed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralysed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Leviticus 1:3, 4 NLT
“If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects. Bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle so you may be accepted by the Lord. Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him.
My goal today is to see if I can behave like the four men who found a way to bring their friend to Jesus. The crowds of happy Christians in churches can be extremely daunting to anyone not familiar with it. Even those who are can be feel squeezed out and find themselves ignored. My goal is to find those who might be thinking that the path to Jesus is blocked by those already crowding round him. I want to take them to him despite the obstacles in our way.
Leviticus 1:1-3:17, Mark 1:29-2:12, Psalms 35:17-28, Proverbs 9:13-18