We began to look at the healing of a disabled man described in Mark 2 in our last post. Four friends brought the mand and dragged him onto the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching because they could not get in due to the enormous crowd that had gathered. They dug a hole in the roof tiles and lowered their friend into the room where Jesus was teaching!
Our goal in this study is not to elevate healing above any other portion of Jesus’ redemptive work. We need to realize that God is just as interested in our spiritual needs as our physical needs.
Forgiveness of sins is more important than receiving healing only because it is impossible to enter heaven if we do not receive healing. It is possible, though, to leave this earth and enter into the presence of God with sickness being present in our bodies.
When Jesus saw their faith… (Mark 5:5)
I have heard ministers say that this account proves it is unnecessary for the person receiving healing to have faith. They argue that the friends’ faith opened the door for the man to receive deliverance.
Mark did not exclude the disabled man’s faith in his account of this miracle. Jesus saw that the man and his friends had faith. They were all involved.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (Mark 5:5)
Mark tells us that each of the four friends’ faith was visible to Jesus. Please notice that the account does not say the man did not have faith.
I believe that it is evident this man came to Jesus hoping to receive deliverance from his physical ailment. It is interesting then that Jesus’ first statement to the man involved forgiveness of sin.
The doorway into physical healing opens to us once we are free from the bondage of sin. Satan could only bring sickness into this world by the inroad provided to him by man’s sin.
When we talk about the role of sin regarding sickness, we must remember that this is not always a direct sin. In other words, a person does not have to sin for disease to enter their body directly. The original sin committed by Adam and Eve corrupted nature resulting in an open door that has allowed sickness to multiply.
Jesus opened the door of deliverance to the crippled man by breaking the bondage of sin over his life. I even wonder if He did this due to recognizing the need for something much more profound than physical deliverance.
But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (Mark 5:6 – 7)
The Scribes were the scholars of the day. It offended them to hear Jesus tell the man that He had forgiven the man’s sins. God was the only one capable of forgiving sin, and they did not accept Jesus as God.
They accused Jesus of blasphemy. He effectively declared Himself to be equal with God by addressing this man’s sin, and the Scribes could not accept this!
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (Mark 5:8 – 9)
Let’s take a moment to think about the question Jesus asked the scribes.
Is it easier for God to forgive sin or to heal our physical bodies? What do you think? I think that both are equally impossible.
Only God can forgive sin, and only God can heal a person of their incurable disability.
Let me ask you another question. Did you notice that Jesus did not ask which one was easier to do? He asked His audience which one was easier to “say.”
I wonder if the answer is that it is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” It is impossible to see “forgiveness” like it is to see that a disabled person has regained mobility.
If you or I were to tell a disabled person to stand up and walk, it would be obvious to anyone present if something happened. The person would be able to walk or do something they had been unable to do previously!
It seems that the point Jesus was trying to make was that if He could minister the miraculous power of God to a disabled person, then He would also be able to minister forgiveness of sins.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (Mark 5:10 – 11)
Jesus told His audience that He would heal the man to show His ability to forgive a person’s sin. He did not separate healing from forgiveness in His ministry.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:17 – 18)
God used signs and wonders to confirm that the message they preached was valid. We see then that both Jesus and His disciples used miracles to prove God’s ability to forgive sin.
God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrew 2:4)
Wouldn’t it make sense that God would desire us to walk in healing if signs and wonders are the means He uses to confirm His Word? I believe that the answer to this question is an absolute yes!
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