Title: THE HARDEST THING GOD EVER DID
Text: Mark 2:1-12
Do you remember the story of the paralyzed man who had friends that carried him to a house crowded with those listening to Jesus? They couldn’t get him to Jesus, so they dug a hole in the roof and lowered him down. Jesus forgave his sins and healed him. I want to focus on what Jesus said to the Pharisees who were questioning His authority to forgive sins.
Jesus said, “Which is easier; to tell this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to tell him, ‘Stand up. Take your mat and walk?’”
There’s a wonderful truth here that we need to understand. Sometimes God is so touched by what He sees that He gives us what we need and not simply what we ask.
It’s a good thing. Who would have ever thought to ask God for what He gave us? How would have dared to say, “God, would You please hang Yourself on a cross of torture as a payment for every sin I have ever committed? And after You forgive me, could You prepare me a place in Your house to live forever?” And if that wasn’t enough, “And would You please live in me and protect me and guide me and bless me with more than I deserve?”
Like the friends of the paralyzed man, we have only asked for the small stuff. Knowing what the paralytic needed, Jesus gave him more than he asked for…He gave him forgiveness.
The Pharisees reacted greatly to this act of compassion. The question Jesus asked them next is one of the biggest questions Jesus ever asked: “which is easier…to forgive sins or to heal?”
To heal a body took a simple command. To forgive his sins took Jesus’ blood! The first was done in a house of friends. The later was done on a hill with thieves! One took a word; the other took his life.
Which is easier?
So strong was His love for these men of faith that He went beyond their appeal and went straight to the cross.
Jesus knows the cost of grace…He knows the price of forgiveness…but He offers it anyway.
By the way, Jesus hasn’t changed. What happened then happens today. When we take a step of faith, Jesus sees. The same lips that spoke to the man in Israel speaks to you…you who dare to come to God and ask for help!
And though we can’t hear it, the angels can hear Him when another burst of love declares the only words that really matter: “Your sins are forgiven!”