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No. 170
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Jesus Christ, when He was on earth living in Israel,  became very well known because He could heal the sick, make the blind see and he could even raise the dead!  Naturally enough people with great needs came from everywhere to get healed and helped.  Mark 2: 1-12 tells us that Jesus was in a house in Capernaum teaching, and His mighty power was healing the sick in a wonderful way! There were so many people in that house that no more could squash in. There were important men present called Phari-sees and “doctors of the law.” It was a day of great rejoicing and wonder at the words and powers of the Lord Jesus. Other people were still trying to get in but the crush was too great. It would have been Peter’s house,  he was Jesus’ follower disciple, also called Simon. (See Mark 1:29).

Then four men came along carrying a poor sick man on a bed, most likely a mattress. He was para-lysed, he could not walk or move around. The men must have been his friends because they were determined to get the para-lysed man in to see Jesus. But it was no use, they could not get past the big crowd. The four friends would not give up. So they struggled and  pushed and climbed and they got the sick man’s mattress up onto the roof of the house. There would have been a stairway up to the flat-roof, but it would still have been pretty hard to get him up there. The men had decided on a desperate plan. They began pulling up the roof, working fast and hard, until they had made a hole big enough to get the bed through!  When the people below saw bits of roof coming down they must had quite a fright. Then the four men lowered the sick man down, perhaps on ropes, into the room where Jesus was teaching and healing. Smart move, eh!  It would have looked very strange, a man coming through the roof!

Jesus didn’t say, “get out of the house, you have no right to do that!” He welcomed them and was very pleased at their faith in God. The man on the mattress was now lying on the floor near Jesus, and Jesus came close to him. When Jesus saw the man’s face and eyes he knew that his sickness was caused in some way by sin in his life. So Jesus said straight away a glorious thing:
“Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”  (Mark 2:5).

Some of the men who considered themselves to be important religious teachers (scribes) thought inside themselves, “that is blasphemy [speaking wrong things against God]. Only God can forgive sins!” They were red-faced with fury. But we know that Jesus WAS God come on earth, so He had every right to forgive sins. Do you know that Jesus knew what they were thinking, and spoke to them right away. He said:
“Why reason [think about] ye these things in your hearts?
Whether it is easier to say to the sick of the palsy [the paralysis], Thy sin  be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
But that ye may know that the Son of man [ Jesus Christ Himself] hath power on earth to forgive sins...” [then he turned to the sick man]
“I say unto thee, ARISE, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.”  (Mark 2:7-11).
Then a marvellous healing happened, and that poor man was no longer a helpless cripple any more. The Bible says this:
“And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; inso much that they were all amazed, and glor-ified God saying, We never saw it on this fashion [we have never seen anything like it].” (Mark 2:12).

All sickness is not caused by sin, God tells us that  (John 9:2,3). The Lord Jesus’ DOES forgive sin, and He makes believers walk in newness of life when they trust Him.  What a wonderful Saviour!

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