WHO IS THIS MAN?: WEEK 2
This week we continued our "Who Is This Man?" series by looking at an account that Mark shares about Jesus healing a paralyzed man.
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. 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!”
The paralyzed man's friends brought him to Jesus expecting a miracle. Jesus didn’t give them what they were expecting. They went with the very rational mindset that his biggest problem was immobility. They didn’t take him to see Jesus for spiritual restoration, instead they took him for physical healing. Jesus addressed something that this man had in common with all people, the man's sin. Jesus revealed to everyone that what we perceive as our biggest problem is not necessarily our biggest problem. The biggest problem of humanity is one that we all share. We all sin. And sin is a destructive force that brings death.
Just for fun. What is the worst gift you've ever received? Why didn't you want it?
On a more serious note - Have you ever gone to someone looking for a specific kind of help, only to be offered something that you weren't looking for? Was this experience positive, or frustrating?
We tend to believe that we have a pretty good grip on our own problems. If somebody tries to reframe the reality of our problems for us, we usually don't appreciate it. These men took their friend to Jesus, who essentially told them, "I'm not going to deal with his paralysis. I'm going to deal with his sin.” How would you have reacted to Jesus in this situation?
Have you ever had a moment when you realized that your biggest perceived problem was not really your biggest problem?
Presently, what do you perceive to be your biggest problem?
Do you think God would agree with you? Do you think He sees this as your biggest problem?
Sin leads only to death and destruction. But through His death, Jesus has saved us from the power of sin. How does understanding this reframe the way you think about life's biggest problems?
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray that we will have eyes that are open to God's reality. Pray that what is important to God will be important to us; that we will see sin as a bigger issue than our earthly wants and needs. And pray that we will know and appreciate the incredible blessing of God's grace and salvation.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray that we will be a church that reflects Jesus' grace and forgiveness, while recognizing the truth of what sin is, and what it does.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Pray for Middle Eastern and North African Refugee individuals and families who live here in Orange County that are receiving assistance through FCC local partner, Voice of Refugees. Pray for the removal of obstacles refugees face as they rebuild their lives. Praise God for many who've come to follow Jesus. Pray for those who've come to follow Jesus that they would have boldness and courage to share the hope Jesus brings with their friends and family.