Summary: In Mark 2:1-12, we have a miracle story about a paralyzed man whose "conscience" seemed to be "troubling him". ... Jesus enables the paralyzed man to experience healing as forgiveness.
TEAMWORK IN TRANSIT TO JESUS
Text: Mark 2:1-12
A man consulted a doctor. "I’ve been misbehaving, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me," he complained.
"And you want something that will strengthen your will power?" asked the doctor.
"Well, no," the man said, "I was thinking of something that would weaken my conscience". (Roy B. Zuck. The Speaker’s Quote Book. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997, p. 353). In Mark 2:1-12, we have a miracle story about a paralyzed man whose "conscience" seemed to be "troubling him". In the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was not uncommon for people to connect suffering with sin. The paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 had paralysis that was the end result of sin. His suffering and his sin were somehow connected. That is why Jesus enables the paralyzed man to experience healing as forgiveness.
SIN CAN BE CONFINING
Sin can be confining because of the guilt that goes along with it. We are not told what sin the paralytic was guilty of in this miracle story. The only information that we are given is that he was paralyzed because of his sin. It is possible for guilt to cause us to have possible health problems. That is why our guilt can eat away at us whenever we have done something wrong. Therefore, guilt can grow and grow and become somewhat paralyzing. Guilt can become paralyzing in a number of ways. It can cause unrest in one’s spirit leading to ulcers, high blood pressure, loss of appetite, insomnia and so on. In one way or another guilt can become a prison for the "consciences of those sinners who continue to be troubled by their misbehavior".
There is the story of a taxpayer who needed to ease his conscience. "A taxpayer wrote to the Internal Revenue Service, "I have not been able to sleep well for two years. Here is my check for $1,200 for back taxes." He even signed his name, then added a short P.S. "If I don’t sleep better in a week, I will send you another $1,200. He had to do something to relieve his guilt, but he didn’t want to do too much". (Roy B. Zuck. The Speaker’s Quote Book. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997, pp. 182-183).
Sin becomes confining when guilt oppresses a sinner. Someone has said that the paralytic is a representative of the human race who was paralyzed and helpless in his own strength. (Leslie B. Flynn. The Miracles Of Jesus. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1990, p. 69). It is obvious that guilt is one of Satan’s greatest weapons that he uses to discourage people. Satan tries to use our guilt against us because as long as we are prisoners of our own guilt, we are fugitives who cannot experience the liberating power of God’s grace! This is one of Satan’s most subtle lies!
THE SINNER AND FRIENDS
The paralytic had friends. A friend is a person who is there through both the thick and the thin. A friend is a person that you can depend on. Proverbs 18:24 says, "There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (RSV). The paralytic was a lucky man because he had four friends. On the contrary, as someone has said, "I am convinced that being on a stretcher is not what destroys people. Rather, it is being on the stretcher and believing no one cares". (Michael Slater. Stretcher Bearers. Ventura: Regal Books, 1986, p. 46). It is the people who do not have friends that face hard times without any one to offer any kind of help.