Do We Stand Amazed
DO WE STAND AMAZED? – Mark 2: 1-12
This story found here in the first 12 verses of Mark 2 is, to me, one of the most amazing stories found in the N.T.
- It is a story of amazing effort…amazing faith…and amazing results.
- In fact, this story ends with people literally “standing amazed”…and I am confident that is the same affect that God intends for this story to have on all of us.
- Let’s begin in verse 1.
As this story begins Jesus is back in Capernaum…and after several days word has gotten out that He is there.
- And as a result, the people gathered in and around the house where Jesus was.
- And Jesus is doing what He came to do, He is preaching.
And apparently the people are really fascinated with what He is saying because all these people are crowded around to the point that “there is no more room” in the house…not even near the door.”
- And the people are so enwrapped in what Jesus is saying that when four men, carrying a paralytic on a mat, try to get in where Jesus is, they can do it.
But those men understand how important it is to get to Christ so, these men, who are carrying the paralytic man, go up on the roof and start digging through the roof.
- Now, just think about that for a moment.
- These men are carrying this paralytic…and we don’t know for sure how far they had to carry him.
- And we don’t know how much this paralytic weighed…100-125 lbs…maybe more?
- And then they carry him up on the roof…and they dig through the roof.
- It is not likely they had any tools with them…so they had to dig through that roof with their bare hands.
- And then, after they get an opening big enough, they lower the paralyzed man down, on his pallet.
- This is an amazing effort here…do you think they understood how important it was to bring their friend to Christ?
- Do we?
Now, I want you to notice verse 5 because there is something here that we need to learn and understand. Look what verse 5 says:
“And Jesus seeing their faith…”
- What does that statement tell you about “faith?”
- Jesus could see their faith!?
What this statement says is that “faith” will manifest itself in some way.
- These men had faith that Jesus could help…they had faith that this paralytic needed to get to Christ.
- And their faith…their belief…their conviction…that Jesus could help…manifested itself in their actions.
- They didn’t just say, “We believe you need to get to Jesus” and do nothing.
- They didn’t just pray about it and then do nothing.
- They believed and what they believed put their feet and their hands into action…
- And that is the way real faith is.
People have such a wrong concept of what faith is…or what believing is.
- Far to often people think faith is just “believing” what they have heard about Jesus…and sitting back and doing nothing.
- And the only time anyone knows that they believe is when they ask us and they say, “Oh yeah, I believe in Jesus”…and they think that is pleasing to Him.
- If that would have been all these men did, this paralytic would have died a paralytic.
Faith isn’t action-less.
- Faith isn’t just words…it’s not just saying, “I believe in Jesus.”
- It is not some “showy, insincere, put on a front, hypocritical act.
Faith is “believing” combined with action.
Oswald Chambers who was a Scottish preacher and teacher between 1874 and 1917 made this statement. He said: “Beware of worshiping Jesus as the Son of God and professing your faith in Him as the Savior of the world, while you blaspheme Him by the complete evidence in your daily life that He is powerless to do anything in and through you.”
If you say you “believe in Jesus”…then people should be able to see it.
- You can claim to believe in Jesus…all day long.
- But, if your claim of faith is not manifested by action…then as James says in James 2: 17…your faith is dead and it cannot save you.
Now, let’s learn something else here. Notice verse 5 again. These four men lower the paralytic down in front of Jesus…and Jesus sees the man…and look what He says: “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
- This isn’t what this man wanted.
- This isn’t what this man’s friends brought him to Jesus for.
- They brought him so that he might be healed physically.
But even though this is not what this man wanted…it is what this man needed.
- More than being healed…more than being made able to walk…this is what this man needed.
- And not only this man…but everyone in that house…
- And not only everyone in that house…but everyone in this house this morning.
- More than the ability to walk…the ability to see…more than the ability to speak…we need the “forgiveness of sins.”
- And let me tell you why.
Look at Matthew 1: 21. Here an angel of the Lord is talking with Joseph about Mary and the angel says: And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
- Do you see what sin does to you?
- It causes you to need to be “saved.”
- Now, if sin causes you to need to be “saved” that means sin causes you to be “lost!”
- And there are several passages where Jesus describes what is going to happen to those who are lost.
- In Matthew 13: 42 Jesus says the one who is lost will be “cast into the furnace of fire; in that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
- In Matthew 5: 22 Jesus describes being lost as a “fiery hell.”
- In Matthew 25: 46 He describes it as an “eternal punishment.”
- And in Matthew 22: 13 He describes being lost as “being cast into the outer darkness.”
Now if you comprehend those descriptive terms…then you realize that sin has horrible, horrible consequences!
- We cannot fully comprehend just how bad it is.
- And as bad as being crippled…or blind…or lame…or chronically ill might be…they pale in comparison to how horrible being lost is.
I know that some of the sweetest words a person could ever hear would be the words, “Get up…you are made well.”
- But those words are of little comfort if the one being healed doesn’t hear, “My Son, your sins are forgiven.”
- It may not be what we want at the time…but it is what we need.
Now, look what happens when Jesus says that. Look at vs. 6.
- When Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven”, some eyebrows raise.
- These scribes don’t like it.
- And as soon as He says, “Your sins are forgiven”, they say, “Why did He talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who could forgive sins but God alone?”
They would have accepted the healing as long as Jesus had not mentioned “forgiveness of sin.”
- If He would have just said, “Get up and walk” they would have had no problem.
- But when Jesus associates the forgiveness of sin with this miracle, they think, “He has stepped out of bounds. Only God can forgive sins!”
- Well, they are right. What does that tell you about Jesus?
So, look what happens in verse 8.
- Vs. 8 tells us that Jesus knows what they are thinking.
- And look at the question He asks them in verse 9…and this is significant.
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic your sins are forgiven, or to say, get up, take your pallet and walk?”
Well, obviously it is easier to say “your sins are forgiven” because how are you going to verify that?
- No one can prove it one way or the other…right?
- If you say, “get up and walk” and if whoever you said that too doesn’t get up and walk, then it is obvious you are a phony.
- But if you say, “Your sins are forgiven” how can anyone prove that they are or they aren’t?
- So it is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” because there is no way to prove it.
Now, look at verse 10…notice what Jesus says:
“But in order that you may know…not guess…not wonder…but know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”
What Jesus does here is He proves what they cannot see by what they can see.
- He takes a physical miracle and He uses it to verify an even greater moral miracle.
- The reason He heals this paralytic is not just simply because Jesus came to heal people.
- He heals this paralytic to prove and confirm His authority to forgive sins.
So, Jesus says to this paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and walk.”
- And the man does…he walks out in full view of the people.
- And the people say as he walks by, “We have never seen anything like this.”
What did Jesus prove?
- He proved that He has the authority to forgive sins.
- And that is the best news that you will ever hear.
- Jesus came to deal with a malady far more serious than paralysis, or hemorrhages, or leprosy.
- Jesus came to deal with sin.
“But wait a minute! I have done some pretty bad things!”
- Doesn’t matter…Jesus has the authority to forgive sins…regardless of what it is.
You know, these scribes were full of doubt.
- And some of us live the same way…full of doubt.
- We have put our faith and trust in Christ…and we have obeyed Him by being baptized for the remission of our sins…and we live a faithful life…
- And yet, we come to church every Sunday doubting the authority of Christ to forgive our sins.
- And the reason we do is because somewhere back down the line we were taught that we could be saved…but it was something we could never know for sure…
- And we were supposed to pray every day…and do good things to try and pile up enough of them in hopes that they might swing the balance in our favor.
- But as far as the forgiveness of sins are concerned, well you hope you are forgiven, but you aren’t sure because maybe “Jesus can’t or won’t forgive my sins.”
Well, let me show you something…look at Col. 1: 12-14.
“…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
- I want you to notice the verb tenses in this passage.
- Every one of them is past completed action!
- “He has qualified us…delivered us…transferred us…we have redemption…the forgiveness of sins.”
- Every time in the N.T. “forgiveness” for Christians is something that is never viewed as being in the future.
- It is always viewed as something that you have already received.
Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
None of these passages say, “Someday” or “Maybe.”
- Let’s quit questioning the “authority” of Christ to forgive sins…and let’s quit living in doubt.
- Instead, let’s do what these people did…let’s “stand amazed” at His authority…and let’s glorify Him.
The Hebrew writer says in Hebrews 8: 13 that, for those who are in Christ, that God “will remember their sins no more.”
- Do you understand what that means? That means that when God forgives us of our sins, that He removes them so far away that He can’t even remember them any more.
- Some of us just hang on to the memory of something that we have done in the past…and we rob ourselves of the joy…the peace…the assurance that we should have.
- And that doubt sometimes also keeps us from being as devoted and committed to Christ as we should be.
- Jesus has the authority to forgive our sins…we need to let Him.
Now, back in Mark 2…look at verse 12.
12 And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
- Notice, these people were amazed at what they had seen…and they glorified God.
- Sometimes, in the church, we too are more impressed with a healed body than we are a healed soul, aren’t we?
- If someone is sick and we pray, and God heals that person that was sick, we thank God and we are so excited….and we should be.
- But what about the person whose life is condemned by sin…and they come to Jesus…and their life is turned around….
- Isn’t that a greater miracle…and perhaps worthy of greater praise and thanksgiving to God?
We think it is more difficult to heal a body…but the truth is…God had to give the life of His Son to heal a soul.
- And what we should do when we see the tremendous moral miracle of sins being forgiven is we should do what these people did in this house…and that is glorify God…and stand amazed.
This paralytic came to Christ…nothing stopped Him…whatever it took…over every obstacle…at all costs…He came to Christ.
- Will you do the same?
- Let everyone, and especially Christ…see your faith.
- Let Him do for you what you need…and that is forgive your sins.
- He can and will do that if you will let Him.
- If you will come…and confess Him as Lord, repent of your sins, and be baptized for the remission of your sins…His blood will wash away all of your sins so completely…that God will remember them no more.
- Will you do that today?
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023