Message: In Mark 2 some men brought their paralytic friend to Jesus on a mat lowered through the roof where Jesus was teaching. In response to their faith, Jesus told them “son, your sins are forgiven.” The scribes who were sitting nearby were THINKING to THEMSELVES “why does he speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Verse 8 tells us that Jesus understood in his spirit that they were thinking these things and he responded out loud to them a very direct answer. He asked them why they were thinking those things (so now everyone gathered there knows that Jesus is responding to their inner thoughts) and then he asks them “which is easier, to say “your sins are forgiven or get up and walk?” Then he took it a step further and told them that so they would know that he has the authority to forgive sins, he would do both. As soon as he told the paralytic man to get up, pick up his mat and go home he did just that. He had been lowered in so dramatically through the roof by his four friends in front of everyone. The house was packed with people so his entrance was probably a huge interruption and now he was completely healed and walking out in front of them all too. Verse 12 tells us they were all amazed. What I’m wondering about is the miracle that the people didn’t see. When the scribes were thinking those thoughts Jesus did all of that in response to them. Did they understand the personal miracle that just happened with them? I saw the my own cynicism in the scribes when I read this. I am not quick to believe anything, and sometimes I have to reel in the critic inside me to hear Jesus respond to me. Some of the biggest miracles I have experienced in my life were personal responses to the questions I have had. Those things I was pondering in my heart that Jesus responded to in ways that were so powerful and so personal to me, that nobody else would even know about.
Command: Honest questions are very important, but I need to silence the critic and the cynic inside me so I can hear Jesus respond.
Promise: Jesus is not just after the big crowd pleaser miracles. He speaks to our hearts in powerful and personal ways that nobody else could possibly know or understand. He responds to our questions and shows us things on a personal level just to let us know that he sees us.
Warning: If I don’t reel in the critic and the cynic within me, I may miss the response from Jesus, and fail to see the miracle he is trying to show me.
Application: When I am feeling critical or cynical, I need to separate my emotions from it and begin to ask the bigger questions and then ask God to show me. I really have to approach these kinds of questions from a place of humility because this is where God’s grace shows up. God is not offended by my questions, but my attitude can pollute my questions into something else and when pride is in the way, I will not hear God’s voice.