Sometimes we feel like we are stuck in a paralyzed place, but Jesus is calling us to rise.
Let’s go to Mark chapter 2, to the story when Jesus heals the paralytic man. I’ll summarize it for you: Jesus was preaching in a house that was so packed there was absolutely no room for someone to get inside. Knowing that Jesus would preach and perform miracles, a group of 3 guys brought their paralyzed friend to see Him. They were hoping to get inside, and when they saw how packed the house was they knew they were going to have to their friend near Jesus someway; somehow.
So what do they do? They climb the house, cut a hole in the roof, and lower the paralyzed man down inside the house right in front of Jesus. Now, you may be thinking WOW what amazing friends- and a lot of people will focus on them. They will focus on the friends that had great faith, who went through great lengths to get the paralyzed man near Jesus in hopes of a miracle. I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on what Jesus says to the paralyzed man.
So fast forward, and the paralytic has just been lowered in front of Jesus while He was preaching and Scripture tells us, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)
When everyone heard Jesus say this, they thought to themselves something along the lines of, “What the heck?!” “He doesn’t need his sins forgiven; he needs a miracle!” “Who are YOU to forgive sins?”
When Jesus sensed their thoughts, He said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?” (Mark 2:8-9)
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a paralyzed place.
You may feel like you’re stuck in a place where you can’t move on, you can’t go forward. We can feel paralyzed by depression, addiction, something that happened to us, our complacencies, our selfishness- but Jesus goes on to say to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” and immediately the paralyzed man rose, picked up his mat, and went away.
The amazing thing about this is that Jesus isn’t just saying, “I have forgiven your sins,” but BY FORGIVING YOUR SINS, He has taken your depression, your addiction, your selfishness, your pain, your bad habit… He took it, and He nailed it to the cross, and He is calling you to rise out of that paralyzed place. Rise out of the place where the enemy is trying to hold you down.
Rise and walk in His forgiveness, walk in His love, and walk with courage knowing He has called you for a great purpose.
“Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” 8 Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”— 11 he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” 12 He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” Mark 2: 4-12