Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2 - Tuesday - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 5-5; Proverbs 4; Philippians 1
Today's scripture focus is Mark 2:1-12

Jesus Heals a Paralytic
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 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. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 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. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 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? 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!”

First and foremost in my mind - sometimes your faith can save your friends. God has called us to be a light, to be disciples, to go out and preach His word.  What better example of that, than this? These 4 friends believed in Jesus so much, they hauled their friend to a house, onto a roof, and down through a ceiling. That is not only belief in Jesus, but love for their friend.
That is how we should love everybody. That is how we can be witnesses to unbelievers. To bring them to Jesus time and time again, pointing to Him as the way, the truth, and the life - pointing to Him as OUR way, OUR truth, and OUR life.
MacArthur deals with the second part of this (verses 6-12) with these thoughts:
"There is one great benefit that the Christian gospel offers that transcends all other benefits and leads to all other benefits. It is a benefit frankly that corresponds directly to man's greatest need, and that is where Christianity marks itself out from all other religions on the planet. It alone addresses man's greatest need. There are religions that offer ethics and morality, and social responsibility, and family values, and a measure of love and peace, somewhat a measure of fulfillment, satisfaction, maybe even a certain measure of happiness.
But what is man's greatest need? The greatest need of man simply put is to escape the wrath of God poured out on sinners eternally in hell. The greatest need of man is to escape the wrath of God poured out eternally on sinners in hell. Only Christianity, only the Christian gospel offers the benefit that meets that need. Only through the Christian gospel can anyone escape the wrath of God poured out on sinners eternally in hell.
So He is proving that He can forgive sin by proving He is God by doing this miracle. And that's what He explains in verses 10 and 11, “So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins so that you may know that the Son of Man can forgive sin, He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.' And he got up and immediately picked up t he pallet and went out in the sight of everyone.”
Are you still asking the question? Is He God, or is He a blasphemer? Blasphemers don't read minds, blasphemers don't create new limbs, new bodies. He has to be God. If He is God, it is not blasphemy for Him to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.'”"

 Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 2:13-17
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 7-8; Proverbs 5; Philippians 2


Miriam said...

Great post! I've always loved the story of the four friends who had so much faith that they were willing to do anything necessary to get their friend to Jesus. Unfortunately, it points out how often I am unwilling to do anything necessary to bring my friends to Jesus.

Tammy said...

I love how MacArthur pointed out that there are only two choices here - either Jesus is God or He is a blasphemer. There is no middle ground. So many people like to take the middle ground - Jesus was a good moral teacher, blah, blah, blah. Nonsense! He was either God or He was a blasphemer. Pick one! They choose wrongly.