SERMON OF THE WEEK
February 24, 2013
Next Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of the Great Lent. On this day, Jesus heals a paralyzed man and forgives his sins. Gospel reading is from Mark 2:1-12.
Topic: Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
Gospel Reading: (Mark 2:1-12)
"1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven.�
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7 Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?�
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, Why are you thinking these things?
9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, �Your sins are forgiven, or to say, �Get up, take your mat and walk?
10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.� So he said to the man,
11 I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.�
12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, We have never seen anything like this!�
Today's gospel demonstrates that faith is not something to be talked about but must be demonstrated in the way we live.
In verse 5 of today's gospel we read, "Jesus saw their faith". Most people would say, we cannot see faith because it isn't in the physical, visible realm. But Jesus saw the faith of these four men.
As Jesus entered the town of Capernaum, his followers heard that he was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive all, not even near the door. As Jesus preached the word to them, four men brought a paralyzed man learning that Jesus was healing sick people all over the place. When they could not come near because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where Jesus was.When they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
Some of the Scribes sitting there reasoned in their hearts, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived this in his spirits, he said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? The Son of Man has power on� earth to forgive sins and then Jesus said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your home." Immediately the paralytic rose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never say anything like this."
There are many lessons we could learn from this miracle:
First, the Power of Faith. Four friends helping the paralytic to see Jesus, but there is no way to get to the door. So they carried him up on the roof. There the paralyzed man was lowered down to Jesus. And when Jesus "saw their faith", he healed the paralytic� These men believed in Jesus' "divine power". They believed the things Jesus said about himself and they acted on their belief. They went to the lengths that other people regarded as questionable. Jesus saw four men�who cared.
As the body of Christ today, we have got to be people who truly care also. As Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." In other words, get involved in the lives of other people. It;s so easy to sit back, wrapped up in our own lives and our own problems, so that we don't have time to care about anyone else.
Second, Jesus saw four men who wanted to share Christ. They wanted to share Christ with the paralyzed man. And that made all the difference in the paralytic's life. As church members, we need to be a people with a faith that is anxious to share Christ and experience his life.
Third, The Lord saw four men who wouldn't give up. These four men who brought their friend to Jesus saw there was no room to get through. But they had the faith so great that refused to withdraw in the face of obstacles. They were determined that nothing would stop them from seeing Jesus. Like the four men, we also need to put forth the efforts and�so that�it will be done. We can also accomplish a lot if we put the effort when we recognize the power of God. We can do all these things through Christ who strengthens us.
The Lord's work was not always been accomplished by talented, intelligent or strong� people alone. It was done by people who believed in the power of God, who did what they could, relying God to supply the rest. We all could do the same thing and be the same kind of people.
Prepared by: Rev. Dr. VKurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil