Take up your mat and walk
Take up your mat and walk
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since 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. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8Immediately 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? 9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12He 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!"
Even though we are only in chapter 2 out 14 a change comes. Until now everyone was happy and amazed when Jesus healed.
For the first time and increasingly after this incident you see people shocked confused and furious.
First, the paralytic man is surprised and socked.
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since 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.
It cannot get more dramatic than this. Image if some is doing this as I was teaching. Everyone would stop immediately what they were doing.
What was it that he wanted from Jesus?
Everyone knows, you know I know but it seems like only Jesus does not know.
Because Jesus walks over to this man and instead of saying Rise up and be healing and he says your sins are forgiven.
Now if this guy was from California.. “Oh Jesus thanks but everyone in the whole knows what I really need except you Jesus.”
Jesus cannot you see I am paralyzed; I have more immediate problem here.
Jesus is saying “no you don’t.”
Jesus is saying you think you know the main problem of you your life but you don’t.
I know your suffering and I am going to get to that but you have more immediate problem.
You need the realized the main problem is people’s life is never their suffering, its their sin.
Jesus is saying you have under estimated the depths of your longing.
Ok, What Jesus is saying is that everyone who is paralyzed is going want is to walk.
Of course, who wouldn’t? Its natural
But surely this man would have been resting all his hope on that.
This man would have said, if only I can walk then my life would be right.
I would be happy again, everything would be right
Jesus is saying my son your mistaking and this may sound very harsh but
When I heal you, first thing that’s going to happen is your going to have this euphoria and say I am never going to be unhappy again. Give yourself for few months. You know this because roots of discontent of human heat goes deep.
No one says this better than Cynthia Himo a writing of New York magazine.
She has been in New York writing long enough that she know numinous actors and actress who were struggling actor and actress worked as waiter or waitress and other job and they become famous.
And this is what she writes.
“You know when they were struggling people like all of us looking up and only if I had that then my life was fine.” Only if I can walk, only if I had this or that… We all do that don’t we
“But when they actually got the deep desire of their heart they became awful. They become unstable.”
“She said I pity celebrity, no I do, celebrity were once perfectly pleasant human beings. Now their wrath is awful. You see they wanted fame, they work they push and the morning after each one of them became famous. However they wanted to take an over dose because that giant thing they were striving for that thing that was going to make everything ok. That was going to make their life and everything bearable. That was going provide personal fulfillment happiness happened. And they were still them. The dissillusement turned them howling and insufferable”
They got what they think would change their life and when they got it they realized they were still them.
Many of us really get that… then she writes it in a cynical voice.
“I think when God wants to plays a really rotten practical joke on you He will grants you your most deepest wish and giggles merely when you want to kill your self.”
And Jesus is saying, “I am not going to play that rotten joke on you.
What he is saying is that I am not going to give you your deepest wish until it is no longer your deepest wish.
Bible says, our deepest problem is that everyone is trying build our identity on something beside Jesus.
Something rather its to walk, relationship, money.
If I had that I would be safe and secure. You are looking for those things to save you. You may not use the turn save but that’s what your doing.
And as a result, if you don’t get them your always unhappy, angry empty.
But if you do get them you are more unhappy and empty.
Jesus is the only saver if you get me it will fulfill you and when you fail me I will forgive you.
Like the paralytic man and like ourselves. We think, if I only had these my life will be complete.
But Jesus wants to take us deeper.
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 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? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
Jesus knows what they are "pondering". He confronts it with a question: "Which is easier?"
For Jesus it would be easier to heal the man which would bring fewer troubles to him than declaring him forgiven.
Up to this point, there had been no troubles with the religious authorities concerning any of Jesus' healings.
In fact Jesus, knowing that it will get him into trouble (next chapter we see they conspire to kill him), pronounces this man forgiven; when it would have been “easier” for him just to heal him.
In a similar way, Jesus' path to the cross will not be the easier way, but the more troublesome and painful way.
How often in our life we take the simplest and easiest way, rather than a more difficult one, that requires more time and effort by the people -- but a way that will be more effective.
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 tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 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!”
The purpose of the healing is to show that "The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on the earth" (v. 10).
HEALING BRINGS RESTORATION
Jesus commands the paralytic to rise up, take his mat and go home.
The word for "home," ("oikos") can also refer to "family". Jesus restores him to his family.
Perhaps this man had not been able to be part of his household because of his paralysis -- something beyond his control. Now he is able to return home.
Illustration: Jason (Sometimes God allows suffering and pain (Job) to restore us.
JASON, God has forgiven you.