Friday, May 15, 2009

Chapter Two...The Questions (Part 1)

In all four of these passages, their common bond is a question.  In each passage, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees and teachers of the law.  Not always do they voice their question, but Jesus knows exactly what they're thinking.

Deity of Christ...

There are a number of things to see in this first passage (vv. 1-12).  
  1. Jesus notes the faith of the friends who lowered the paralytic through the roof.  
  2. Jesus tells the paralytic that his sins are forgiven instead of just healing him.
  3. Jesus confronts the thoughts (questions) of the teachers.
  4. Jesus proclaims his Deity.
  5. Jesus brings glory to God.
1.  This is an amazing story about four guys taking their paralyzed friend to be healed by Jesus.  Once they got to the house, they noticed that it was so jam packed that there was no chance for them to get their friend inside.  But, the most exciting thing is, is that they DID NOT GIVE UP!  They didn't look at their situation and say, "oh well, I guess we'll have to try it another time."  No, they LOOKED FOR other options.  They were not going to give up and be discouraged...there HAD to be a way!  And they found it!  They went up to the roof and dug through to lower their friend down.  Then it says, "when Jesus saw their faith".  He saw it!  It wasn't just something in their mind they believed, they took action and made their faith alive!  James says, "faith without works is dead."  I think Jesus was pretty impressed with how determined these guys were and that they did not give up.  They did everything they could to get to Jesus.
2.  "He said to the paralytic, "Son your sins are forgiven."  Why didn't he just heal the guy?  Was it because he knew that it was about to stir some things up with the teachers of the law who were present?  Maybe.  Could it have been that Jesus was dealing with the root of the problem?  Maybe.  I think it could have been both.  The Jews believed that if someone had a sickness such as this, it was because that person had sinned or someone in his family had sinned.  It appears that Jesus was cleansing the wound instead of putting on a band-aid.
3.  The teachers of the law were sitting there "thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that?...Who can forgive sins but God alone?'"  Jesus knew what they were thinking.  He had an opportunity to clarify what was going on, and let the disciples know that he IS God, or just ignore their thoughts and continue ministering.  Jesus dealt with the issue.  How many times do we just let "issues" in our life get ignored?  Jesus wasn't about to let that happen here, he knew their THOUGHTS and confronted them.
4.  "So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."  In the teachers' minds only God can forgive sins.  Jesus was letting them know that God was actually incarnate in front of them touching peoples' lives.  
5.  The healing of the paralytic "amazed everyone and they praised God..."  Jesus' work and ministry always pointed to his Father.  God ALWAYS deserves the glory in whatever we do or say.  Jesus brought glory to God.

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