Episode 168: Obedience Proves New Life
But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins -He told the paralytic- “I tell you: get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he got up, took the mat, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2: 10-12)
This is one of the more familiar stories of healing in the New Testament. Four friends were trying to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing. They couldn’t get through the crowd so they climbed on the roof and made a hole big enough for them to lower their friend, on his mat, to Jesus. That action alone must have caused quite the stir. Imagine being in a crowded home, listening to Jesus and you begin to hear a stir above. Material starts falling to the ground and suddenly there is light coming through where the roof should be. These men were desperate for the healing of their friend that they went to extreme measures to get him to Jesus. They knew Jesus could heal their friend.
When Jesus sees the faith of these men, He tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven. This caused a stir among the scribes in attendance. They knew, through the law, that only God forgive sins. Jesus telling this man he was forgiven, was a claim to be God, or at the very least, equal to God. How dare Jesus make this claim! Knowing the thoughts of the scribes, Jesus turns to them and asks, “Which is easier to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, get up, take up your mat and walk?” This is where we pick up the story. Jesus healed the paralytic as proof of His authority. His words to the paralytic were a command to walk as proof of the healing.
In obedience to Jesus, the paralytic got up, took his mat, and walked out in front of everyone. This act of obedience astounded the crowd. When the paralytic got up and walked, it not only was evidence of the healing he had received, it was a visible testimony of the authority and power of Jesus to forgive sins. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 tells us that we are a new creation in Christ. The old has died and the new has come. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God has prepared good works for us to walk in them. Obedience to walk in these good works is proof of our new creation, our new life in Christ.
Imagine what this type of obedience would look like today. Imagine if we who call ourselves Christians would actually take to heart the commands of God in the Bible and live our lives in obedience to those commands. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are not only forgiven of our sins, we are healed from their paralyzing effects. We cannot go on laying on our mats when Jesus commands us to get up and walk out our faith. Imagine a church body living in such obedience to the Word of God that the world around them is astounded rather than appalled. Let us be a people whose lives are clear evidence of the forgiveness and healing we have received from Jesus Christ. Let our actions clearly reveal our new life as we walk in the good works God has prepared for us.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!