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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                    Jesus Heals A Paralytic (2:1-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. Among the miracles of Jesus, one of the better known is the healing
   of a paralytic...
   a. Found in all three synoptic gospels - Mt 9:1-8; Mk 2:1-12; Lk 5:
      17-26
   b. In which a man was let down through a roof by his friends to be
      healed by Jesus

2. The occasion produced a range of emotions...
   a. Jesus charged with blasphemy by some
   b. God glorified with amazement by others

[The healing of the paralytic contains several valuable lessons for us
today.  Turning to Mark's account of the miracle (Mk 2:1-12), let's
first read and examine...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. HELPFUL FRIENDS...
      1. The place:  the miracle occurs in Capernaum - Mk 2:1-2
         a. Described as "His own city" - Mt 9:1; cf. Mt 4:13
         b. Located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee
         c. Served as the base for His public ministry in Galilee
         d. Preaching in a house, which soon overflowed with listeners
      2. The paralytic:  His friends carry him to Jesus - Mk 2:3-4
         a. Totally immobile, confined to a stretcher, unable to enter
         b. With great effort, his four friends let him down through the
            roof
      3. The pardon:  Jesus forgives him of his sins - Mk 2:5
         a. Jesus observes the faith of the paralytic and his friends
         b. He replies, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
         c. Matthew adds, "...be of good cheer..." - Mt 9:2
      -- It seems strange Jesus forgave him first rather than healed
         him, but Jesus' purpose will be revealed as we proceed

   B. HOSTILE FOES...
      1. The disdain of the scribes:  blasphemy! - Mk 2:6-7
         a. Luke mentions both scribes and Pharisees - Lk 5:21
         b. They reasoned in their hearts, not speaking
         c. Silently accusing Jesus of blasphemy, for only God can
            forgive sin
      2. The defense of the Savior:  He has power to forgive sin - Mk 2:
         8-10
         a. Jesus knew their hearts, their reasoning - cf. Jn 2:24-25
         b. Which is easier to say (and do):  to forgive or to heal?
         c. Both require divine authority and power
         d. Jesus has power to do both!
      -- Here is Jesus' purpose in forgiving before healing is revealed:
         to make known His divine power to forgive sins

   C. HAPPY FINALE...
      1. For the paralytic:  healed! - Mk 2:11-12a
         a. Jesus tells him to arise, take up his bed, and go home
         b. Which he does immediately, in the presence of all!
         c. Luke adds that he went "glorifying God" - Lk 5:25
      2. For the people:  amazed! - Mk 2:12
         a. The crowd has never seen anything like this!
         b. Matthew adds their amazement was that God had given such
            power to men - Mt 9:8
         c. Luke adds their amazement was joined with fear - Lk 5:26
         d. They also were "glorifying God" - Lk 5:25
      -- A man healed, people amazed, Jesus' power made known, but most
         of all, God is glorified!

[From helpful friends to hostile foes to a happy finale, the healing of
the paralytic is a wonderful story. But it is more than just a story.
There are lessons to be gleaned.  Here, then, are...]

II. SOME LESSONS

   A. THE POWER OF CHRIST TO FORGIVE SINS...
      1. On earth, Jesus demonstrated His power to forgive sins
         a. Not only in the case of the paralytic - Mk 2:5,10-11
         b. But also with the woman who washed and anointed His feet
            - Lk 7:44-48
         c. And for the thief on the cross - Lk 23:39-43
      2. From heaven, Jesus continues to have power to forgiven sins
         a. Made possible by the shedding of His blood - Mt 26:28; Ep
            1:7
         b. Offered to those who respond to His gospel - Mk 16:16; Ac 2:
            38; 10:42-43; 22:16
         c. Ever available to those who walk with God - 1Jn 1:7,9
      -- Have we looked to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins?

   B. THE PRECIOUSNESS OF FRIENDS WITH FAITH...
      1. The paralytic was blessed with friends with faith
         a. Jesus saw "their faith" - Mk 2:5
         b. Evidenced by their great effort to assist their paralyzed
            friend
         c. Without them, the paralytic would have been unable to come
            to Jesus
      2. Do we have and appreciate friends with faith?
         a. In His church, Jesus provides us with many friends with
            faith
         b. Brethren ready to assist and serve us in time of need
         c. Does our involvement in the local church indicate that we
            appreciate such friends? - cf. He 10:24-25
         d. If a brother is in need, can they rely on our faith? - e.g.,
            Ga 6:1-2
      -- Nurture your network of friends with faith, and share your
         faith with them!

   C. THE PRIVILEGES SO EASILY SQUANDERED...
      1. The miracle occurred in the city of Capernaum
         a. Described as Jesus' "own city" - Mt 9:1
         b. There He did many wonderful works
            1) Healed the centurion's servant - Mt 8:5-13
            2) Healed Peter's mother-in-law - Mt 8:14-15
            3) Cast out many spirits in the demon-possessed - Mt 8:16
            4) From Cana He healed the nobleman's son at Capernaum - Jn
               4:46-54
         c. Yet those in the city brought judgment upon themselves - cf.
            Mt 11:23-24
      2. Have we squandered our privileges?
         a. Living in a country where God's Word is freely accessible?
         b. Blessed to be near a congregation of fellow Christians?
         c. Having many opportunities to grow and serve in the work of
            the Lord?
         d. "...For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will
            be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him
            they will ask the more." - Lk 12:48
      -- We have been given much by the Lord, let us give much in
         return!

CONCLUSION

1. The healing of the paralytic reveals a man...
   a. Who was in need
   b. Who was blessed with good friends
   c. Who was forgiven of his sins by Jesus Christ

2. We all are like that paralyzed man...
   a. With needs only Jesus can fulfill
   b. Who needs forgiveness that only Jesus has power to bestow
   c. With friends of faith willing to help

But are we like the paralyzed man in regards to faith?  His faith led to
Jesus fulfilling his needs.  May we have the same faith today...!
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