Mark 2:3-12 Much Bigger Problem than your Sickness
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Don’t treat the symptom – treat the root. That’s a very good advice from people who know that the only way to solve a problem is to go to the root cause of the problem.
In the case of the paralytic man, it was obvious that the four friends came there so that the paralytic man would be healed of his sickness. But Jesus, instead of declaring healing, said, “your sins are forgiven.” This was not a statement to create a tension between Jesus and the Pharisees. This was a theological statement.
Jesus was saying, “I know you are paralyzed but you have a much greater problem – your sin.”
Reading through our daily news – we would see so many people who are victimized and abused yet at the same time, the solutions we try to give is something that will not bring lasting change. When sin is not dealt with – the problem will continue to persist. I remember when our kids would get sick, Thammie would prefer for them to boost up their immune system rather than drink some paracetamol that would mask the heat but not heal the root cause.
It’s the same way with the many sins that plague our nation. When Harry Weinstein was exposed with all his sexual acts and manipulation – it was Hollywood that supported the victims yet at the same time, it is the same Hollywood culture that continues to produce movies that feed the “Harry Weinstein” culture.
When people comment about cyberbullying, it would be the same people who would cyber bully the people who are bullies in cyberspace. The problem not only persists, but it worsens.
Or take for example the HIV epidemic. The Philippines now ranks as one of the highest in Southeast Asia. We deal with the symptoms by handing out condoms but never get into the heart of sex for singles which is abstinence. I know this because I was involved in a nationwide government sexual education training for teachers that would teach kids how to properly use a condom. I wonder what would happen if millions of pesos were invested in abstinence programs rather than condom distribution among the high school and college students of Manila?
When the Bible talks about sin it is not referring to the bad things we do. It’s not just lying or lust or whatever the case may be – it is ignoring God in the world he has made. It’s rebelling against him. It’s saying, “I will decide exactly how I live my life.” And Jesus says that is our main problem. – Tim Keller
To make the paralytic walk would be an incomplete solution to this problem. Jesus had to go and deal with his sinful heart by addressing the ultimate problem of every man – sin.
How about you? Are there areas in your life that you know God has not redeemed yet? Now would be a good time to reflect on this story and in our lives and ask – Lord are there sins in my heart that needs to be forgiven?