Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus Sees Faith
Apparently it had been some time since Y'shua/Jesus had been to a synagogue to preach the Word to the people of Galilee after the former leper had disobeyed His word to "go tell the priests" what had been done for him, as a testimony. Instead the man told anyone else who would listen to him. The people came for what they could get for themselves.

And when He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'? "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- He said to the paralytic-- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this." Mark 2:1-12 NAS

In Mark chapter 2, Y'shua has returned to Capernaum. Apparently the crowd came to Him in such large numbers that they filled the house with an overflow crowd gathering at the door as He proclaims the Word of God to them.

To this setting, a group of men come to Y'shua. Four of them caring a paralytic to Him. But the size of the crowd prevented their access to Y'shua. The solution? Dig through the roof and lower their friend to Him.

Jesus saw their faith What did Y'shua/Jesus see when He saw their faith? The Author of Hebrews said,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarded of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:1, 6 NAS

What were these men assured of? John the Baptizer had come to prepare the way of the Lord as spoken in Isaiah 40:3. After the witness of John at the baptism of Jesus, John was arrested. That very day, Jesus picked up the message of John, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

In Mark 1:22, the people who went to synagogue with Him were amazed because He spoke with an authority that they had never heard from their teachers, the Scribes, before. "Faith is the assurance of what we hope for..." The men came with their paralyzed companion believing that Y'shua was (and is) the Glory of the Lord, the promised Messiah. And faith is standing firm on the Word of God, so what did these men stand on?

John the Baptizer fulfilled Isaiah 40:3-4. The verses that follow the "forerunner" prophecy tell of "The Glory of the Lord." In Isaiah 35:5-6 there is a short list of what the people will "see" when Messiah, the Glory of the Lord, comes. (look at this passage in the light of the context starting at 35:2b)

  • Salvation
  • The blind will see
  • The deaf will hear
  • The lame will leap like a deer
  • The mute will shout for joy

From what they had observed these men believed that this Y'shua was (and is) the Glory of the Lord, The Messiah. They came to Him believing that "He is" and they came assured that he rewards those who seek Him. When Y'shua saw their faith He expressed the ultimate demonstration of His authority, doing what the scribes rightly reasoned, that only God can forgive sin. The scribes came to a wrong conclusion, that this man blasphemed. The four friends of the paralitic acted on the only correct conclusion, they believed, and came to God who rewarded those who seek Him. Y'shua saw their faith and expressed the ultimate demonstration of His authority, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

What is it that you believe? How far will you go to test the assurance of your conviction of what you cannot see? Fear not, He rewards those who come believing that He is.

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