DECEMBER 1, 2019

Mark 2:1–12 (ESV) — 1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Today, we begin our annual Christmas emphasis. This year’s sermon series is entitled, “One Extraordinary Life”. We will be focusing in on four extraordinary miracles from our extraordinary Messiah. Our first miracle (from the Scripture above), deals with a paralytic who was healed, but more importantly his sins were forgiven by Jesus.

Apparently, the reason the man was paralyzed was the root cause of sin. Either he had committed a specific sin that had caused them to be paralyzed, or he was paralyzed by the effect of sin in this fallen world. Either way, he needed spiritual healing above all else. The first words that Jesus said to him were, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

In my prayers, I often seem to gravitate towards material needs. Maybe, it’s physical healing, or a financial concern, or any need that I might have. These first words coming out of Jesus’s mouth, remind me, that above all else, I need spiritual healing. I need it every day of my life.

As believers in Christ, our sins are judicially forgiven. In other words, we have eternal life through a right relationship with God. However, all of us need to be restored to fellowship with God when we sin against him. The good news is this: God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! We can come to him with absolute certainty that through the sacrifice of his son, we have access to receive his mercy each day.

“Dear God, Thank you so much for the forgiveness I have in Christ. This morning, as I join my church family to worship you, may I lift your name up as the only one who judicially forgives sin. Also, please reveal to me any sinful ways in my heart or behavior. Cleanse me from my sin so that I can walk in fellowship with you and with a clear conscience. In Jesus name, Amen.”