Summary: The outcome of God’s grace is the celebration of God’s glory.
“Glory and Grace”
May 4, 2008
God: This week, we are looking at a section of scripture that begins a series of encounters Jesus has with the religious leaders of his day. There are five events that Mark records that do not necessarily happen in chronological order, but that are placed together to show the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders of his day.
Jesus is interested in relationship over religion.
“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.” Mark 2:1-2
Jesus comes to Capernaum and goes to either Peter or Andrew’s home. The people hear that he is there and gathered at the house. We can assume that they gathered to see what miracle Jesus would perform. Instead of performing any miracles, Jesus begins to teach them the Word of God.
Jesus never let crowds set his agenda.
It is easy to be influenced by those around you. We can have a very clear sense of God’s plan and direction for our lives, but if we allow other people to re-direct us, we will not be living God’s plan and God’s purpose for our lives.
“Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.” Mark 2:3-4
To better understand this, we need to grasp a picture of a first century home. It was usually a small, one room structure with a flat roof. Access to the roof was from an outside stairway. The roof was usually made of wooden beams with thatch and compacted earth in order to shed the rain. Sometimes tile would be placed between the beams to add protection.
These men realized they could not get to Jesus, so they dug up the roof of Peter or Andrew’s house. No doubt dirt would fall in on whoever was below.
There is a church built over Peter’s house now. This is a picture from under the church into what archeologist believe is the house in this event.
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5
Jesus heals the man based on the faith demonstrated.
This man was no more sinful than any other man. However, the Old Testament thought was that if you were physically afflicted it was because of a spiritual sin.
Jesus goes directly to this man’s most pressing need.
All human suffering is rooted in man’s separation from God.
When we desire our own passions, our own glory, and our own way, we suffer from separation of God’s perfect design for us.
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 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? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ’Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ’Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 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!" Mark 2:6-12
The teachers of the law were looking to trap Jesus. In the Jewish understanding, not even the Messiah could forgive sin. Only God could do that. Jesus is therefore, claiming equality with God.
By Jesus healing the man, it showed that what happened externally was also accomplished internally.
The healing verified the claim of forgiveness.
“He did the miracle which they could see that they may know that he had done the other one they could not see.” A.M. Hunter
The man was healed instantly and got up and walked out. The result was that the crowd was once again amazed at Jesus and gave glory to God for what had happened.
The outcome of God’s grace is the celebration of God’s glory.
You: Are you living the life that celebrates what God has done for you? Are you walking externally based on what Jesus has done internally?
We: As a church we need to learn to celebrate grace and respond with glory.