Sunday, August 03, 2014

PARALYZED!

PARALYSIS CAN COME IN DIFFERENT FORMS. We can be physically paralyzed by some trauma producing accident. We can be emotionally paralyzed by some crisis producing event from our past. We can be spiritually paralyzed by the fear of God and some secret sin we keep hidden in the dark corner of our life. Trauma, fear, crisis, past hurt, future unknowns, all this things can paralyze us.

Sadly, some paralysis may be incurable, it is something we need to live with, but I also believe that God offers us a freedom from the effects of paralysis that far exceed the actual paralysis itself. I find God’s healing opportunity in Mark’s gospel chapter two where we witness the powerful setting free of a man bound to his mat.The account is as follows:

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 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!”

Now, herein lies the power of being set free from the paralysis in which we may find ourselves. It comes from receiving the forgiveness that Jesus offers. But it’s not just forgiveness, it is the love that prompts it and empowers it.

Jesus came not only to forgive sins, but more importantly to show us the love that God has for us. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” The end game as not only the forgiveness of sins, or to “get us to heaven,” but it was to offer us the opportunity to know and experience the love that God has for each of us.
It is when you and I come to know that love. When we begin to believe that we are truly loved by the One who invites us to address Him as Father (Romans 4:14-17) we can begin the process that sets us free from the paralysis that binds us. This is why Jesus offered the man forgiveness first as part of the “healing package.” It does us no good to walk and jump without knowing the love of God that truly sets us free. When we come to acquire the Truth, and the love that Truth brings, we shall truly be set free. (John 14:6; John 8:32)

Therefore, if you find yourself paralyzed today, God grants you the gift of freedom which comes from knowing that you are greatly loved by the Father. (John 3:16-17) Maybe you know someone who also needs to know that love-based, sin-forgiving, freedom-granting power that the Master offers. If you do, it’s time to start to dig that hole in the roof and let your friend down to Jesus. (Luke 4:18; Romans 6:2)

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