Read Mark 2:1-3
1When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them,
What is the setting of this moment?
What does news spreading quickly about Jesus return say to us about what people were expecting of Him by now?
What would His reputation have been like at this point?
Why did so many people come to see Jesus?
Do you think they were all followers of Jesus?
Compare and contrast this moment at the house to a Sunday morning Church service experience?
What do we come expecting?
Who is in the room and what do they expect from Jesus?
How can we raise the level of our expectation for what God can do?
What was Jesus doing before the miracle?
Why is this important?
Read Mark 2:4-5
3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
How close would this friend have been to the four men carrying him?
What do we know about the paralyzed man’s belief or lack of belief at this point?
What can we surmise about his friends and their beliefs?
Why do you think Jesus forgives the man’s sins before healing him? That wouldn’t be the most obvious need at this time first?
Many times we think the only approach is to help with someone’s physical needs before meeting their spiritual need, but this time Jesus begins with the spiritual need. What reasons do we have for not beginning with someone’s spiritual need when desiring to lead them to faith?
Read Mark 2:6-7
6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7 “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus is healing spiritual and physical needs of people in spite of the oppositions of some of the most powerful people in the crowd.
How can what people may think of our method or even faith keep us from moving forward in obedience to God?
Have we cowered to the opposition in this area?
Who is really behind this opposition of Jesus and how should this help us to not be afraid of stepping out in bold faith?
Read Mark 2:8-9
8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’?
What is Jesus getting at with this line of thinking? Why is he asking this question?
Are both equally easy to prove?
Read Mark 2:10-11
10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[a] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
What is the big deal with the question on authority?
So what was the point that Jesus was making?
Read Mark 2:12
12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”
Since God knows what we are thinking, why is it still difficult for us to confess our sins to Him at times?
Do we take time to really ask God to forgive us of all of our sinful thoughts and attitudes?
What sins do we overlook in our lives thinking that it may not be that bad or that wrong?
Why was it important for Jesus to show the Pharisees that He had the power to forgive?
What is the response of the crowd and the result of God’s power displayed through Christ healing this man?
At the beginning, only Jesus saw the faith of the people bringing the man on his mat. Now, what has happened to the amount of faith in the crowd? Is their crowd visible?
Think on This…
What character are we in this story –the critic, the believing friend, the helpless paralazed man being brought to Jesus, a member of the crowd? What will be our response to God’s presence moving this week?