When Jesus healed a paralyzed man is a story recorded in Mark 2:1-12. But it involved more than a miracle. Here are some lessons for us today.
When Jesus healed a paralyzed man he was impressed by the show of faith
In this passage Jesus taught a crowd of people in a home. It was so packed that when four men brought a paralyzed friend for Jesus to heal they couldn’t get through the front door. So they climbed to the roof, cut a hole in it, and let the man down on a bed. Impressed by their show of faith, Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven.
Religious leaders in the crowd were outraged. Who did Jesus think he was? Only God could forgive sin! Jesus knew their thoughts and acknowledged that merely saying, “your sins are forgiven” proved nothing. To make a claim was easy. Proving it something else. Like stamping a visible forgiveness halo over the man’s head.
Faith is what makes Christianity so hard for many people to accept. Because faith is intangible. It requires a personal decision of belief followed by an action. And without it, you will never please God.
So Jesus did something tangible and much more impressive than a visible forgiveness halo. He instructed the man, “rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” AND HE DID.
It visibly demonstrated Jesus’ divine power to heal and therefore, his authority to forgive sin. But faith is always our part to play.
When Jesus healed a paralyzed man he also healed his spiritual brokenness
The paralyzed man sought physical healing. But Jesus also healed his spiritual brokenness. The passage doesn’t identify the man’s sin but it must have been pressing because Jesus addressed it first.
Maybe bitterness in his heart because of his paralysis. He blamed God or someone else who caused it. Or perhaps something unrelated to his paralysis. The point is that sin in the heart takes many forms and paralyzes you as much as a physical handicap. Sins like…
To name just a few. They consume our thoughts and darken our hearts. Jesus recognized whatever it was in the paralyzed man’s life and released him from it.
And he does the same for us. Because sin holds you captive, damages relationships, and separates you from God. But the forgiveness through Jesus Christ heals your spiritual brokenness and sets you free.
When Jesus healed a paralyzed man some people still rejected him
You’d think in such a dramatic, miraculous healing that everyone present would believe in Jesus and follow him. But no. There are always people who reject Jesus, despite the evidence. And in this story, ironically, it was the religious leaders.
But people also reject Jesus today. Why? Maybe because you…
Think following Jesus involves too many rules
Have a lifestyle you won’t give up
Of course there are many other reasons too. Because to follow Jesus you must…
Recognize you’re spiritually broken
Make a decision based on faith
Commit your life to following Jesus
What the paralyzed man did was simple. He approached Jesus in an act of faith. The same is true for us today although it’s not a popular or easy life. But one with purpose, meaning, and spiritual freedom. Oh yeah. And the promise of a really cool life following this one.
The Bible story of Jonah and the whale presents an amazing miracle. And it’s not about the whale. In fact, we’re not certain it was a whale. But that’s another story. Here are four things the Bible story teaches us today.
The Bible story of Jonah and the whale teaches the importance of obedience
Obedience to God is consistently taught throughout the Bible. Scripture tells us to trust God. Exercise faith. And obey his commands. Usually presented as a choice we can follow or reject.
But the Bible story of Jonah and the whale is different.
God tells Jonah to go and preach to the city of Nineveh. Warn them to repent from their wicked ways. But Jonah doesn’t want to. And he tries to run away…or in this case sail away on a ship.
Typically when we choose not to speak up for God, that’s all there is to it. God finds someone else or other means to achieve his will. But in this story, God is insistent. He’s really serious about Jonah delivering his message to the people of Nineveh.
So God gently persuades Jonah to change his mind by sending a violent storm. And the sailors on the ship throw him overboard to save themselves.
The Bible story of Jonah and the whale teaches that God often takes unexpected measures
Enter the whale. The big fish. Massive, life form, ocean transport. Who saves Jonah from drowning by swallowing him and spitting him up on land three days later.
It’s a good reminder there is no place beyond God’s reach. Whether you’re running from him. Or feel lost and forgotten.
There’s no pit too deep. No place too remote. Sin too horrible.
And God will take unexpected measures to spread this news. He’ll use unlikely people, unusual circumstances, and unconventional methods. The whale, I’m sure you’ll agree, was pretty unconventional. And surprised both Jonah and the whale.
The point is, God is sovereign. He doesn’t have to use us in serving his purpose. He wants to. And we don’t have to obey. We get to.
It was an important lesson for Jonah. One we should learn too.
The Bible story of Jonah and the whale teaches about God’s mercy
Jonah finally obeys. Goes to Nineveh, travels through the city and preaches. Although it’s not a message of love and forgiveness. But of doom. Turn to God or face his wrath!
Not a message that would go over well today. And yet, the people of Nineveh repented and turned to God. Even the king who issued a proclamation for everyone to turn to God.
Therefore, God relented on sending a disaster on the city
And this makes Jonah mad! He even admits it’s why he didn’t want to go in the first place. Because he knew God was merciful and would forgive the people of Nineveh if they repented.
Seriously? Aren’t we supposed to celebrate when sinners repent? Welcome them into the kingdom of God?
And yet, perhaps there’s a little bit of Jonah in all of us. A tiny bit of satisfaction to see others get what’s coming to them. But thanks be to God he is not like us. Slow to anger and quick to forgive. His compassion never fails. And his mercies are new every day.
The Bible story of Jonah and the whale teaches that people are God’s priority
The amazing miracle in the story is not that a whale swallowed Jonah. That he survived it for three days. Or even that Jonah’s message pierced the hearts of a city’s entire population.
Rather, it’s the grace, mercy and love of an almighty God. Who takes extreme measures to reach a lost world with the gospel message. That all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
And I’ll send you my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. You’ll learn how to punch up your presentations with humor.
Let's Keep In Touch!
Join my list and I'll notify you of new blog posts and send you a monthly newsletter. It features inspirational thoughts, writing tips, and a peek into writing projects. I'll also include my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. It shows you how to punch up presentations with humor and make them more compelling.