3/03/2011

3) The Healing (Mark 1:35-38; 2:1-12)

Chap 1: The Dance (of the Trinity) (Mark 1:9-11): Do you revolve around God/others or yourself?
Chap 2: The Gospel and The Call (Mark 1:14-20): Christianity is good news, not advice.

Quotes: "The main problem is your life is not what's happened to you, not what people have done to you; your main problem is the way you're responded to that." (28)

"(Jesus) actually has the power and authority to give each of us what we're been asking for, on the spot, no questions asked." (35) Why doesn't he?

Not popularity but prayer; not quantity but quality. As Jesus began to preach and teach publicly, crowds thronged to see him. How did Jesus respond to his ever increasing popularity? After prayer, he decided to leave immediately (Mark 1:35-38). Why? He was much more interested in the quality of the people's response to him than in the quantity of the crowd. Still, they came in great numbers.

"Your sins are forgiven." Once, when 4 friends lowered their paralyzed friend through a roof, disrupting a large gathered crowd, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:1-5). Why did Jesus say this when the man obviously came to be healed of his paralysis?

  1. Jesus knows something the man and most people don't know--he has a much bigger problem than his physical condition, and that the main problem in any person's life is never their suffering, but their sin. The paralytic thought, "If only I could walk..." We might think, "If only I got ... then my life would be happy." But Jesus knows that the roots of discontent of the human heart go deeper. Many celebrities who were once unknown were nice ordinary people until they got what they wanted and became living monsters. (Cynthia Heimel in the Village Voice.) Heimel said, "I think when God wants to play a really rotten practical joke on you, he grants your deepest wish." C.S. Lewis, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, told of a boy named Eustace, who became a dragon because of his greed. Though he tried to rid himself of his dragon skin, there was always a deeper layer underneath. Only Aslan (the Christ figure) is able to go deep enough to cut through all the layers of his dragon skin until he became a boy again. (Go see the movie.)

  2. When Jesus says, "Your sins are forgiven," he's actually saying, "Your sins have really been against me." Thus, Jesus, by forgiving the man, is claiming to be God Almighty. This incensed and infuriated the religious elite (Mark 2:5-8). They knew that Jesus was not just claiming to be a miracle worker, but that he was claiming to be the Lord of the universe. To prove his point, Jesus asked them which was easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to heal the crippled paralytic (Mark 2:8-12).
Question: Do you think your sins just mainly hurt others, or do you know that it is primarily against God? (Ps 51:4)

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