How far will you go to draw near to Jesus? Better yet, how far will you go to draw your friends near to Him, to have them know Him and realize the ultimate gift He’s offering them? As an extroverted introvert, I’ve often felt that it’s harder for me to “share the good news” about Christ in my everyday environment, knowing I would be faced with hard questions and my faith would be challenged. It almost gives me anxiety imagining myself in that scenario. But if we turn to the Bible for our ammo and trust that the stories and good news of Jesus will back us up, there is no doubt we will be able to simply and easily share His works and purpose here on earth. Today, I would love to share with you three solid truths about faith and forgiveness that we can find in the first part of Mark 2.
Mark is one of my favorite books in the Bible because Paul, the disciple who wrote it, doesn’t add any extra fluff or banter about the life and works of Jesus. Paul’s prose is short and sweet and simply shows audience: a) what Jesus has done, and b) what He is capable of. For someone who sometimes freezes at the thought of sharing about Jesus with my friends or to others, these three nuggets found in Mark were perfect, bite-sized Biblical truths to cling to for when those situations arise.
A story most Christians know well is the one where Jesus heals the paralyzed man who was lowered into the room from the roof. In Mark, this story is found in chapter 2. Jesus was teaching to a crowd inside a building, and a group of friends who knew He could heal their friend. Verse 4 says,
“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.”
There is wonderful healing power in the word and in the promises of Jesus, for those who come to Him in faith. This man came to Jesus in faith, even if it was with through the faith of his friends.
Of course, there will always be those who doubt, like the scribes that were present during this miracle. Jesus challenges them and says in verses 9-11:
“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!”
For humans, both real forgiveness and the power to heal are impossible. But for God, both are easy and doable. Jesus was not there to show off his ability to heal some guy’s mortal wounds. He was there to show the true power in forgiveness, which was the very first thing He said to the man who couldn’t walk: that his sins were forgiven.
Our real and greatest need is for our sins to be forgiven. Jesus displays this by healing our soul first and body second (if at all) – which makes it clear that the common root of all pain and suffering is our sinful condition.
Being able to understand this miracle and the purpose behind Jesus’ time here on earth takes a lot of faith, friends. And a lot of the time, faith does not come easy because we live in a culture that thrives on tangible, immediate results that you can SEE. Faith does not provide any of those things. It requires courage, bravery, and blind trust – a lot of what the world today sees as illogical.
Forgiveness is the greatest miracle that Jesus ever performs. It meets the greatest need (our sinful slate being wiped clean); it costs the greatest price (Jesus’ death on the cross); and it brings the greatest blessing and the most lasting results (sharing the good news of Jesus’ purpose on earth and eternal life with God in heaven).
On the days and weeks that I submerge myself into the Word and truly seek the Lord, I feel so totally equipped to share about Jesus and the wonderful gift of forgiveness He came to give. You don’t need to fully comprehend every verse in the Bible and know how to break down every miracle Jesus performed to successfully share about Him to others. All you need is faith in God’s purpose, trust in His word, and the acceptance of Jesus as our Savior.
Featured Photo by: Allison Mims