Summary: How much of what you think do and say is under your control - and should it? Learn how Jesus can take control of more of your life.
For more Bible Studies visit: www.LivingWatersWeb.com
Who’s The Boss?
Pastor Tom Fuller
The story of Saddam Hussein and his rule of the Iraqi people is fascinating. In my mind, the defiant ruler’s power didn’t come to an end in March of 2003 when American troops rolled into Baghdad and we witnessed as mobs tore down his statue. No – the end for Saddam came months later, when soldiers discovered him hiding in what they called a “spider hole” – like a rodent burrowed into the ground, Saddam emerged looking disheveled and disoriented. At that point I think everyone knew – Saddam was finished. Now a new government is coming into place.
I’m not here to argue the politics of Iraq – but to use it as a picture for what we will see today in Mark chapter 2. Like an aging but reluctant dictator – the Law held on to power in people’s lives for generations – but now a new boss is coming on the scene – one who Himself is the Law. Those around this changeover reacted in different ways – some grabbed onto Jesus with all the strength they could find – others scoffed at him. Like Iraqi insurgents – they will not believe that change is coming – and so with us, how do we react when Jesus asserts His control over our lives?
In some ways this chapter represents the going out of the old and the coming in of the new.
In verses 1 through 1-12 we have Jesus taking authority over the forgiveness of sin – removing it the Jewish law and tradition and giving it to the Messiah.
In verses 13 through 17 we have Jesus taking authority over who comes into the kingdom of God, away from the subjective class system based on occupation or socio-economic status to one based on whether you are infected with sin or not.
In verses 18 – 22 we find the clear implication that there is a changing of the guard and that the old system and the new cannot co-exist – the new must replace the old entirely.
And in 23 through 28 Jesus takes authority over tradition and the Law. It is the rejection of the tradition controlling behavior to the Lord controlling behavior.
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
Capernaum was where Jesus made His headquarters – its located on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. You can walk among the ruins today – and even see where they think Peter’s house was where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. Jesus was already getting a huge reputation as we saw last week – even though He told the people he healed emphatically not to tell, they went out and told everyone about Him – so its not surprising at all that crowds came over.
2 So many gathered 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 paralytic, 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 and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
The roofs of the buildings in that day were flat. They were made of three layers – wooden beams of cedar or Cyprus wood, a layer of straw, then clay packed down tight to make it water proof. So these guys would have to break through the clay, part the straw, and move aside some of the sticks to make enough room to let this down through.
Imagine you’re this guy – who can’t move or catch himself. “You’re going to do what?” he says! But he and his friends were so determined to get this guy to Jesus that they risked hurting him terribly. I can just picture the scene as Jesus is teaching then, plink, something hits somebody on the head – and plunk, a bigger piece comes down – then all eyes go up to the roof where the sun is now shining through and then down comes this guy on a mat. So look what Jesus does:
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
The guys up on the roof may have been saying “Hey, I thought He was going to heal him – who said anything about forgiveness?” But Jesus is making a bigger point – that we are all sick on the inside from sin – we just don’t show it on the outside but sin paralyzes us in our ability to make things happen and move ourselves closer to God, so forgiveness is what everyone should seek – and of course, Jesus is making the point that He is the one who can grant forgiveness.