I was driving along the highway last year, off to speak at a church breakfast event. The drive was just over an hour and I had to drag myself out of bed early. Somewhat miraculously, I had plenty of time to spare. I even had time to stop and get a coffee on the way. That was, until the high pitched skreetch coming out the general engine area of the car. I pull over with a sigh and call the guy who was organising the breakfast event, “I have a problem with my car…. I’m going to be late.”
And aren’t our lives just like this?
Everything seems to be going so well. Like a nice morning drive down the highway. Sun shining, drinking coffee. Then it all seems to blow up.
You were so confident that you’d get that new job…but then you miss out.
You have to cancel that holiday cause you know covid…and now what are you going to do what that 2 weeks of annual leave?
Your kids don’t sleep at night for months on end, which means you don’t sleep at night for months on end…
In Mark chapter 2 Jesus is teaching in a house. But suddenly, the roof starts to crack away. Dirt, dust, timber, and then sky. A man lying on a stretcher is lowered down onto the floor. Jesus sees this man in obvious need. And it’s really serious. The man is paralyzed. We don’t know any background details, but from what we can gather in Mark 2, he really wants to walk.
But unexpectedly, Jesus speaks and says “Son, your sins are forgiven.” This isn’t what you’d think he’d say right? Jesus does care about all our needs (please note that he does heal the man later). And yet, Jesus wants us to see that there is an even greater, deeper problem in every one of us that he’s come to heal.
And in this surprising moment, Jesus offers the solution to our deepest problem. Our sin against the God who made and loves us can be forgiven. Why? Because He has authority to forgive. And he has come to heal our relationship with God.
“Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” – Mark 2:9-12