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!” (Mark 2:5-12)
In the scripture above I found a part of Christ’s character that made me smile and after reading it over a few times thought about what this passage says to me specifically. I see two stories unfolding at once. The room was full of stories being written that would unfold and cause a ripple that spread the gospel from that one moment throughout the world. I want to focus on two, although I hope you’ll see the beauty of how the Gospel exploded from each of the witnesses we have a tendency to overlook.
I see the scribes and I see the paralytic. We have scribes whose job was to interpret the law for the people. They were experts on the Old Testament law. They would be considered experts on laws. They were as full of head knowledge as anybody during that time. What they missed was when the fulfillment of those laws walking into a room. The God they followed walked into the room and looked into their eyes and they missed it. What good is all of the biblical knowledge in the world if you don’t recognize the author? I am drawn to the character of God that starts small, draws our attention, and then opens our eyes to His love and faithfulness. Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic and allows the scribes to take notice in their questioning of Him. Then, knowing their hearts, He shows His authority to all. He draws in the people hardened to faith and then brought the whole room into a moment of glorification to God. He has their attention and then heals him so that when he stands, ‘all and amazed and they all glorify God.’ I see the heart of God and the patience He takes in helping us in our hardened state. What love and faithfulness we are called to serve.
I see the paralytic being lowered through the roof in such faith. Then the Lord takes notice of him and forgives him of his sins. There is now a moment where he lays there forgiven and still paralyzed. There was a time that his faith had to continue in order to be healed. God’s wisdom decided to use his trouble (paralysis) to save those around him. He then decided to use that moment he remained faithful to save the teachers of the law. I’m sure that moment felt like an eternity to the paralytic, but I’m positive it meant eternal life for those to who he was blessed enough to bear witness.