And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing[a] their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Rising From The Bed
Dear Jesus, I wish someone would carry me to you. I am such a passive child. I feel helpless sometimes. Those who are mature in the faith know you so much better than I do. I want someone to carry me to you and introduce me to you in ways that I have not seen before. I want the constant peace of forgiven sin to permeate my being so I won’t worry about whether I offend people or don’t say enough. But I hear these words addressed to me, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” They are, aren’t they? You took them on you on the cross. I carry an illusion that they are still mine, but my sins are yours and I rise to a new life in you.
“Not guilty” but crippled by guilt. Free from shame, but ashamed. I have received so much from your hands Jesus, but I don’t live as if your truth has the authority. I live with the illusion that I must bow to criticism and views that were thrown at me a long time in the past. How foolish! How human? You modeled a perfect human life. You never had to come back from sin, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety … but you had the authority to banish it. When you took it away, did you feel its weight? On the cross, did the darkness of unbidden fears burden you as they burden us? I think that maybe they did. If they did, the weight of all the sin that has crippled people physically and mentally must have been like a vice squeezing the brain; it must have been crushing your chest; it must have ripped through your back with an intensity to rival the scourge. But you endured. You endured the cross, scorning its shame. Now we can rise up unfettered by fears and doubts. Unfetter our hearts and minds. Help us to live the reality of your healing grace.
- What did the paralyzed man’s friends believe?
- How was sin related to the man’s sickness in your opinion?
- How does Jesus help people to rise up?
- What figuratively and literally cripples you?
- Have you gone to Jesus with your crippled condition? Do you believe that he is on your side?