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2. Spiritual Paralysis

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions

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  • July 18, 2020
    11:30 AM
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And today we're going to continue a journey that we started this morning and our 1st service preaching the Sabbath the next Sabbath and this morning we start spoke about Mark chapter one and now we're going to speak a bit about Mark Chapter 2 and next week we're going to look at Mark chapter 3 in the 1st service and then Mark chapter 4 in the 2nd service I want to work our way through some of the early stories of Jesus who is our Lord and Savior and it's helpful in an era where there is so much fake news out there that we hear once again the good news as we saw this morning that when Mark uses the phrase The good news he doesn't use it in the plural he used it in the singular which means that the only good news in town is Jesus Christ there is no news other than him and he is the good news so we're going to be looking today at Mark Chapter 2 The story of physical and spiritual paralysis My name is Pastor car advice and welcome to all of you here it's wonderful see the church as full as it is today and just just praise the Lord that you were all here gathered here we have the freedom to gather here and for those of you watching online we give you a warm welcome we pray God's blessings upon all of us as we share this Sabbath day together and fight you to open your Bibles we can be focusing today on much up to to get into the Word of God together a story of physical and spiritual paralysis and as we open our Bibles and invite you to by heads with me and we invite the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts so shall we pray to Father I want to thank you for the freedom we enjoy in America even today to worship together. Thank you father here in Michigan we can still lift our voices in praise to you as you heard our children singing this morning thank you Father for the freedom to share the Gospel that we yet have and I pray Lord that as we gather here this morning that your spirit will move upon our hearts that you will transform the way we think that will soften our hearts when necessary you will scrape off the barnacles of the past and you give us the new heart experience that only you can give a lot I ask that he use speak through me you speak for me that your angels we've got this building all who are gathered here and those we love that your spirit be the only spirit within these 4 walls Thank you Father for hearing this program in Jesus' name I ask men. This is a story about forgiveness Mark Chapter 2 and I'm sure that we all have tales about forgiveness in our own lives if we if we recall recall the story of our lives we have stories of when we were forgiving and when we were not forgiving and stories when we needed forgiveness in my mind there are stories when I was a small boy my father emphasized with a leather belt across my rear end on a few occasions my need for forgiveness from society for various ills that I had conducted there was one instance I remember on this relate to my twin brother and not sure he's going to thank me for telling this story but I'll share it anyway I think he's preaching the next door so I think he's well away from here today. We were at a camp meeting in the Scarborough in the northeast coast of England we were small boys about 8 or 9 and we've been raised on a diet of brown bread Marmite and salads and whenever we got to camp meeting we just loved to see all the goodies that were on sale there and so we went we walked around the display hall there and that was as gentlemen something positive Carol chocolate now is not the real deal Ok this is like decaf to real coffee but this was cow or of chocolate. And we didn't see chocolate in our home it was only when I went to university that I discovered that rationing had ceased in the sixty's but we looked at these balls of carrot chalk chocolate yearning in our hearts temporarily breaking the 10th commandment and we walked back and forth on our eyes kept watching each other and seeing shall we shall we not in our pocket we had a few pennies and we didn't have enough money money to buy a bar of power of chocolate so we gathered up courage and I remember I was the one that reached out when the gentleman was talking to somebody else and I relieved him of the burden of some carrot chocolate and I walked away down to the entrance of the of the hall and a few minutes later my father caught up with me. And I said Conrad yesterday what's in your pocket money I don't know what's in that pocket there so I reached in guiltily and out came a bottle of care of chocolate sauce a phone not coward chocolate but out came a bar card Japanese and where did you get that car Jack let's I said well it's a long story dad's He said well I had time for a long story so I told him how my brother had been tempting me and how my brother had been egging me on and how my brother had been daring me to do this and he said let's go and see the cellar so we walked up to see the cellar and my brother was standing there with a smile on his face it was he who had reported me to the sailor who had reported me to my father and so the South and I had a frank exchange of views mostly his views about me and I knew that I was going to receive a visit later on from my father on this matter and to add insult to injury the seller gave a bar of card chocolate to my twin brother and said You've been a good boy you have the care of chocolate and I was so mad at my brother I didn't know whether I wanted to punch him or kick him I said and didn't feel like forgiving him but I certainly felt that I had been wronged in this whole expense my twin brother would stab me in the back like that and he was very happy with his bar of care of chocolates and Anyway forgiveness I've noticed that when people are dying the number one thing they want is reconciliation when people are dying with their last words and their last thoughts what is on people's mind more than anything else is reconciliation with that wayward child and reconciliation with God their wills are made their financial dispositions are done but when people are breathing their last they want to know that somebody said I'm sorry or they want to know that they can say I'm sorry I did this to you and they want to hear the phrase It's Ok you're forgiven. Regardless of what culture we come from we all know that we need forgiveness and matter how nice you address on a Sabbath morning we know that there are carabaos in our past and thankfully we can have real chocolate now but. We know that there are a carabao chocolate bars in our past things we've done hidden skeletons something in the closet things we're not ashamed not of proud of things we're ashamed of things we wish we could've done better things that we could just turn back time we would have a different outcome and Jesus knows this or having the father knows that our burden in life is not financial but it's relating to forgiveness and so we have as we come to the 2nd chapter of Mark we have a story about forgiveness it figures early in this in the stories of Jesus in this gospel is a beautiful story and so far in this gospels you hear for the 1st services morning we've seen that Jesus has all 4 of the he has authority over the demonic and the forces of evil he can set free Satan's victims we've seen that Jesus has authority over disease but only can heal diseases but he can cure diseases and to death like leprosy he doesn't just cure them but He cleanses them when Jesus cleanse Aleppo we saw this morning that not only to the cleanse the leper but the start of the story the stepper lives in the countryside he can't live among humans and Jesus is in the towns and when they meet not only does Jesus cleanse them of his leprosy but the leper can now live in the towns of Galilee and Jesus now has to live out in this country side he can't live in the towns not only does Jesus cleanse but he bears the burden for that letter is an indication of what Jesus is later in the gospel roots as the Son of Man Mark 1045 he did not come to be served but he came to serve and to give his life around some for many Jesus came to bear Albertans the number one burden we experience today is the need for forgiveness. So then we come to Mark Chapter 2 and we're going to pick up the story here at verse one says when he returned to Capernaum after some days it was reported that he was at home and so many people gathered around that there was no longer room for them not even in front of the door and he was speaking the words to them the phrases the words in the Gospel of Mark as you go through it it just means the gospel the good news of Jesus Christ as we saw earlier this morning the good news is not just a story about Jesus but Jesus is the good news because he is the in breaking of God to live with humanity he is the breaking of God into human existence in order that God might be with us that we might receive Him by faith in the gift of eternal life and in this story we see here that Jesus is surrounded by a large crowd of people now. Preachers may dispute this but I would say today that large crowds are not a sign of God's blessing necessarily You see some in this crowd around Jesus are curious some want to listen to the latest sensation some aboard like the crowd of Athens when it will be Paul goes after and they just want to hear the latest idea not convicted or converts are they just curious so some people come because they're curious some people want to see Jesus perform a miracle Herod want to see Jesus perform a miracle some people come because they're following the Pharisees wherever the Pharisees go that's where they're going to go some people go because Jesus is the latest sensation or he is a celebrity he is walking the red carpet at this stage of his ministry through got out gallery and some are idle bystanders throughout the Gospel of Mark the crowds are ambivalent towards Jesus having large crowds listen to is not a sign of success is whether the Holy Spirit speaks through you is a sign of success as a preacher not where the crowds listen and necessarily accept what you have to say. In verse 3 we have this sick man so then some people came bringing him a paralyzed man carried by 4 of them when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd they removed the roof above him and having dug through it they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay these are 4 men bringing their paralyzed man to Jesus now physically this is very difficult Have you ever carried a paralyzed man. On on a on a in a blanket they didn't have couches back then I guess what trolleys about they carried him on a blanket we had a missionary in Philippines about 5 years ago and it was his about his 2nd day in the Philippines and he was high in the mountains he was crossing a narrow mountain stream and he was wearing soccer cleats because it was rainy season and the mountains steep and Sippy and he was crossing that that narrow mountain bridge which is a series of wooden slats over a narrow gorge and his slot his cleats got stuck in the slats of wood and the bridge tips and of course the bridge tipped and he didn't and his leg was kind of ripped off the ankle so his foot was pointing this way his body was pointing that way and they had to rewrite the bridge in great pain and kind of lift his price his legs out they carried him for about 12 hours out to the mountains with a small army of men to carry him out it is hard to carry somebody but these 4 men they're determined to see Jesus and in this story the crowds are a barrier to him coming to Jesus do you notice that even though the crowds are following Jesus they actually prevent the one man who needs to meet Jesus from meeting Jesus in this story and so when these 4 friends they come and they see the crowds around Jesus and how we're going to get G.'s at this man to Jesus and so they decided to climb on to the roof and let him down through the roof while we're familiar with the story but just imagine if somebody today were to bring you know some some scaffolding and start drilling through the roof up here imagine how we would feel I mean we'd all be looking at once I say what's going on like why can't the deacons going take care of this guy their doors at the back why can't you wait his turn what kind of what kind of ridiculous guy is is why can't they wait their turn Can't they see that Jesus is busy. And those days no the rules were flat and so you'd have maybe a cross beams of very heavy logs then you had smaller. Branches across then you had a layer of fat and it was top top top off with mud the mud was to provide them water resistance also to provide an inch lation against the Heat when House is a coated with mud they're much cooler in parts of the Middle East and so they go to the top of the roof and they're digging down into the roof you see they're not afraid of the social inconvenience to anybody else of coming to find Jesus then all the shames of bringing their friends to Jesus they're not hiding the fact they want to bring their friends to Jesus they're going to bring their friends to Jesus no matter the social cost involved even if it means a lot of discomfort for those who are sitting at the feet of Jesus we are not to give up and say that because it's socially inconvenient in bringing people to Jesus Christ there is no social inconvenience that is worth a soul for eternity when we're talking about our mission episodes moaning about serving as a mystery overseas or the ministries of our church here I don't think in terms of the social cost the social inconvenience what may people think about me in this story which challenge to overcome the social barriers to bringing people our friends to Jesus Christ and so they they drop him down through the roof top they don't say that they believe in Jesus but their actions declare their faith in a very tangible way do they not by their actions they're declaring this is a living faith in Jesus Christ they're not preaching a sermon they're not holding evangelist experience but by their actions in pounding their way through that roof and seeing over the dust and the words kind of fall on the congregation below everybody knows that these 4 people want to bring their friend to Jesus Christ and I think it was a Wesley once said Preach always and if necessary use words their life is a testament to their faith in Jesus they're going to bring their friends to Jesus no matter what. And then we see there that says that in verse 4 they let down on the maps on which the paralytic lay and then verse 5 says When Jesus saw their faith notice this they didn't say a word you think that if you could come into the presence of Jesus you'd say something yes you know when I was growing up people say if you could ask God One question what would it be you know and you know we have different questions at different stages of life but in this case this paralytic he comes into the presence of Jesus and he's coming in faith that Jesus can meet his deepest needs but when he has the opportunity and he's lying there and he has the undivided attention of Jesus the text doesn't say what he says in fact he says nothing but Jesus stops for Him Jesus turns his attention from the crowd and turns his attention to this young man just slip a few pages forward in your Bibles to Mark Chapter 10 it's a beautiful story one my favorite stories in this gospel it's a story of blind bottom mess and blind bottom a us March up to 10 verse 46 they came to Jericho and Jesus on the road to Jerusalem going for the Passion Week and it says in Mark 1046 as Jesus and His disciples another large crowd were leaving Jericho bottom of a sudden to me as a blind beggar was sitting by the roadside so everybody else is going to Jerusalem for the Passover but the last blind bottom of this is not the crowds of passing by death all owing with Jesus but blind bottom eye is left to beg at the side of the road he's not going to Jerusalem he's not following Jesus he's outside of the temple cult he's not going to side with worship you might say when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth began to shout out and say Jesus son of David have mercy upon me and the croutons be quiet but some of the most profound words you read in the Bible is verse $49.00 it says simply Jesus stood still we have what about them the cry of faith. When Jesus has the cry of faith Jesus stands still Jesus was surrounded by a crowd he was going to the most important dates in salvation history the problem crucifixion at Calvary But when this blind beggar who has a crowded sale his man is cursed by Satan because he's a sin and that's why he's blind when this blind bottom ace calls out to Jesus Jesus stop salvation history stops Cosmic History stops and Jesus turns and he speaks to this blind man now it's a matter of burying Springs I don't even know who this person is what drive through town and say oh hi hi hi they won't stop for me if Governor Whitman who drive through barren Springs I say hey if we women want to talk about lock down she's not going to stop for me if President Trump would drive through town to a white women to Mr President I have a question about foreign policy he's not going to stop for us but when the Son of God hears a cry the cry of faith he stops no matter what crowd is around in the matter how busy happens to be even on the way to crucify the crucifixion he stops and he listens to the cry of faith and so they come to him back to mock mock Chapter 2 here this paralytic he lies before Jesus and he has Jesus exclusive attention when we cry to Jesus in faith we also have his attention there are times now lives when we don't know what to say before God because the thoughts our hearts of so conflicted but he knows our hearts as we see in the story he can read our hearts there is no Clarence an open book to him so sometimes being still and knowing that God is God sitting still before God saying God Read my heart today search my thoughts today and say 70 wicked thought to me and created me a cue of a clean and right spirit you know we can sit before God and He can read our hearts even when we don't know what to say it says When Jesus saw their fate. Jesus hasn't heard a word from me yet they haven't said Jesus I believe but Jesus saw their actions face expressed in action he didn't need to hear a sermon from them he didn't need to hear Bible study from them he saw that their faith was revealed in their deeds faith is not knowledge about Jesus per se but it is an act of trust that Jesus is sufficient for our deepest needs in this case the deepest need is forgiveness faith in the Gospel of Mark is expressed by deeds and a lack of faith is also manifest by a lack of trust in God as expressed in a lack of living for him Mark does not say whether it is the faith of the paralytic that is important it or the faith of the friends it's hard to imagine the paralytic being brought to Jesus against his will unless he was you know mute and dumb and couldn't protest the fact but the fact of the matter is there were 4 friends willing to intercede with Jesus on behalf of their friend intercessory prayer is very important I have a mother I think we all have had a mother I mean it's not unique is that she gave birth to my twin brother who ratted on me so I kind of just gives me a jaundiced view of my mother I guess but from an early age I remember that my mother would bow by her bed early every morning and she was praying and I knew that she was praying for her 4 children when you know that somebody is praying for you every day it gives you wind in your sails you may not know what the content of those prayers are but you know the love that goes with them and you know that they're inviting the presence of God into your life whether you have paused in the moment moment the most morning of the day to invite God or not a your mother is praying for you knowing that somebody is praying for you gives you wind in your sails. And we see this elsewhere in this in the Gospel of Mark we see that just in Chapter 5 gyrus comes to Jesus on behalf of his daughter we see in Chapter 7 that the Cyrus Phoenician woman comes to Jesus on behalf of her demonized daughter time and again in the Gospel of Mark we see that God on his the face of those who bring their friends to him there's really no mention of the paralytics faith here but we know the faith of the friends and God All knows the faith of those who bring their friends to Him in faith asking for healing intercessory prayer is as powerful today as it was back in the time of Jesus whether we pray today whether we pray whether we ask Jesus face to face the answer is not dependent upon us but on Jesus power and his willingness to forgive and time and again in this chapter here when people say to Jesus I believe that I you willing Jesus affirms Yes I am willing to be made clean Jesus wants us to be healed he wants us to be forgiven he wants us to experience the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus He Him as Lord and Savior Jesus looked down at the paralytic in verse 5 and he said to the paralytic son your sins are forgiven you now there's no mention of his physical paralysis here we think all maybe the 1st thing Jesus would say is son I'm going to heal you but he doesn't say that in fact nowhere does the man ask to be feel to be physically healed now when he doesn't offer healing. He just lies in front of Jesus trusting that Jesus could meet his deepest need and his deepest need apparently is not his for his physical paralysis there is something much deeper there's a spiritual process you know the people today would say that if you were a sinner if you if you so if you were sick like you were blind that obviously you were a great sinner and your blindness was a daily reminder of God's displeasure with you so as long as you are blind that means you have the assurance that God is angry with you that's got a great theology s. So if this guy is paralyzed He's been paralyzed for a while we may shoot him he has the daily reminder that God is angry with him according to their theology of the day now thankfully Jesus disputes that theology in John Chapter 9 where he would jets in that case the explicit relationship between sin and disease but even so we know today that there are relationships between the choices we make and the impact of our bodies do we not if you smoke you're more likely to get some cancer it's closer in your lungs if you overeat you're more likely to be obese and cardiovascular problems and and strokes and diabetes type 2 and all the rest of it we know we call them lifestyle diseases there is a relationship between the choices we make and the impact on our bodies and in this case here there is a relationship between his paralysis physically and his spiritual condition doesn't always happen you can't always look at somebody and say they're sick because they're a sinner but in this case it seems there is a relationship and so Jesus doesn't deal with his physical paralysis he deals with the inner most problems of the Partick his sins you know and Jesus says Your sins are forgiven we mention this this morning there is nothing more distinctive about a person than the mosaic of sin in their life. You know we all dress differently in different hairstyles we drive different cars we like different colors we have different style houses some people paint their bedrooms red some people pink painted pink I don't care what it is we tend to express our individuality with externals but God knows that we are truly individual at the innermost level and that the most private thing in our lives the most hidden thing in our lives the most secret thing in our lives is not our hopes were off ears but it's our sins we're happy to express our hopes but we rarely happy to talk about our innermost sins and so Jesus goes to the heart of the matter with this guy he goes to his in his deepest problem which is not his physical paralysis but a problem of the heart the paralytics deepest need was not for physical restoration but for reconciliation with God Yes he may be condemned by the Pharisees for is physically infirmity and he received only condemnation from those religious leaders and he received a daily reminder of God's rejection of him also the Pharisees might say so his was a life without hope and life living under the daily judgment of God He was simply living waiting to die but when Jesus pronounces this paralytic forgiven notice again the paralytic says nothing he doesn't say thank you he just lies there in grateful silence this paralytic doesn't say a word about the whole story he comes before Jesus and He knows that people can see the physical paralysis but he knows that internally there is a spiritual paralysis and when Jesus says Son Your sins are forgiven you he lies there in silence there is no further request he does not protest his lack of physical healing he didn't alter his 4 friends there is a profound silence his deepest need has been bat met the burden of despair has been rolled from his heart the peace of forgiveness rests upon his face his whole being is transformed because a guilty Santa has been pardoned. Iowa when we 1st got married was your 1st my mother in law does get law which is the Russian way of saying Hitler and I didn't think she knew about this and so one day she came to visit from Moscow and she said Can't you said what you call me when I'm not around I said you or she she said no no no no what you call me I said Well your mother she said no no no no no no no no what you actually call me so I realize that you know what you whisper in the bedroom you know gets carried to the king's ears as a society says so well I shall call you get last and there was a moment of forgiveness that it was it was really wonderful actually to be forgiven is a beautiful thing and so Jesus says to this man your sins are forgiven you but this the scene changes in verse 6. So now some of the scribes were sitting next question in their hearts why does this fellow speak in this way it is blasphemy who can physically give sin but God alone is what begins as a heart warming story about healing and forgiveness is transformed into a perilous confrontation about your Florentine of Jesus what kind of authority does Jesus actually have the scribes and Pharisees in the priests never presume to forgive sin because they knew this was the preserve of God alone keep your finger marked Chapter 2 just drop back to a couple of clear examples in the in the Old Testament go to Isaiah 43 and verse 25 you'll see there that it is God who has the prerogative to forgive sin 43 and verse 25 a beautiful promise from God as I 4325 I I am he who blots out show transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins and on a beautiful promise God has the authority and ability to block out our transgressions and he will no longer remember our sins just one of the verses go to Psalm 103 which is closely tied to the story today Psalm 103 while most beautiful of the Psalms bless the Lord Oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name blessed lot o. my soul and do not get all his benefits on the number one benefit that the Psalmist mentions from God is he forgives all your iniquity who heals all your diseases the number one benefit that God gives us is the number one needs that we all have and that is forgiveness. Reconciliation within families within marriages within communities within nations and ultimately with God Himself Jesus is the peacemaker because he bears our sins and so we we think twice selves when we want to make peace we normally want to make peace in a way that pushes everybody down and has us coming out smelling of roses Yes You know when when my mother would say to my brother I know who started this I'd say well it all starts when he hit me back you know he's a guy to blame here and if you do one thing like that whenever we want involved in a peacemaking process we want to come out smelling of roses we want to come out vindicated we want everybody to say yes this individual was in the right all along and those people at church are such rotters and so when we enter a peace making process we're not really concerned about their reputation we're concerned that we come out smelling of roses but when Jesus made peace he takes all together different approach turn to a fusion Chapter 2 you see how Jesus made peace he is our example in all things these are examples of peacemaker and we see there in efficient Chapter 2 The apostle Paul talking to the the wall of division between Jews and Gentiles and between humanity and God says an efficient chap to verse 13 but now in Christ Jesus visions to 13 you who want far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ for He is our peace in his flesh he is made both groups into one and he has broken down the dividing wall that is the hostility between us when Jesus makes peace he does so through the sacrifice of his own body Jesus did not say I'm entirely innocent you guys need to be sacrificed Jesus said I am entirely innocent I am the sinless Sin bearer I will sacrifice myself that you the guilty might experience the blessings of forgiveness. It's a whole new way of peacemaking rather than insisting that I come out smelling of roses and I don't get harmed in the peacemaking process in the process of forgiveness to follow Jesus in peace making an experience in forgiveness I must be willing to take a hit myself it takes more courage to make peace and it does to go to war it's easy for a president to go to war you hit us we'll hit you back it's far harder to engage in a peace process and Jesus came to this earth so that we might experience peace with God We see this peace with God in the story of his paralytic here but the Pharisees they say only God can forgive sins and make use use of blasphemy which in their minds means Jesus needs to be executed so in verse 8 he says Jesus perceived in his spirit they were discussing these questions among themselves and said to them Why do you raise such questions in your heart which is easier to say to paralytic your sins are forgiven or to say stand up and take your mat and walk but so that you may know that the Son of Man has more for it see on earth to forgive sins they turn to the paralytic and he said I say to you stand up take up your mat and go to your home but I will prove to you says Jesus I have the authority to forgive sins now program and strike my authority by doing what no earthly doctor can do I will heal this physical paralysis as a proof I can heal your spiritual paralysis and the guy said he stood up and immediate took the mats and went out before all of them the paralytic does as he is commanded the physical healing done in public is physical proof of the spiritual authority of Jesus and a whole crowd they witnesses they were amazing says they were glorified God saying we have never seen anything like this the crowd did witness the whole event they praise God for 2 miracles Firstly the physical restoration paralytic to his home his community and secondly through the forgiveness of sins they witnessed a soul being saved for the Kingdom of God physical paralysis can be healed. But this story is also a story about spiritual paralysis and that relates mostly to the scribes so the scribes would receive the answer to their innermost question when a man is healed they'd say no who can forgive sins but God Jesus has answered the scribes question I have the authority to forgive and I'll prove it to you because I'm just going to heal this man and so far in much up to one and just this early part of my chapter 2 What have they seen Jesus doing they've seen Jesus casting out spirits which they believe is only possible when you're anointed by the Holy Spirit they've seen Jesus healing people with deathly diseases they've seen people cleansing lepers the priests could only affirm that you are cleansed but Jesus can actually do the cleansing himself they've seen Jesus healed people with deathly fevers they've seen him now read thoughts they know that he can read their minds again only God can do that some 139 tells us very clearly only God has the ability to read the mind and they've seen that he can heal paralysis and claims your farty to forgive sins now would the scribes respond with praise like the crowds were they are they praise God for this or 30 that was now manifest in their midst Well they were mighty dumb with amazement but they were silent in jealous hatred the screw the crowd saw in Jesus a power they ascribed to Jesus alone and when you use this text for instance with a Muslim if you Satan was them Jesus is God they'll say no he's not but in this passage he say Jesus does what only God can do that for Jesus must be divine he'll deadly diseases he cast out spirits he he forgives the sin sick and he heals the physically sick Jesus does what only God can do but the scribes are not interested. They are no longer the center of attention we know later in John's gospel that it was out of envy that they handed Jesus over to be crucified so while the paralytic went home praising God their religious leaders were left scheming to destroy Jesus just turn over the page to Mark Chapter 3 after he heals a man with a with that hand in on the Sabbath in the synagogue and there you have the 1st bipartisan act of Congress right there much up to 3 in verse 6 is the Pharisees went out immediately and conspired with the Herodian skins geezer's how to destroy him that her audience they were the ruling class of the Such a sees the Pharisees with the opposition there's about Republicans and Democrats united in this case here in their hatred of Jesus and we need to get rid of him this was a bipartisan hatred of Jesus by the religious authorities you see physical disease whether it's a militant like disease like leprosy or deep seated like paralysis this can be healed by Jesus but spiritual paralysis the disease of the soul of willful and stubborn unbelief Jesus cannot force the human heart he's not going to do it these scribes have evidence after the evidence after evidence after evidence that Jesus is who he says he is and as we go through the Gospel of Mark as Jesus heals the sick and he raises the dead and He cleanses the lepers and he reads the fact the Pharisees and scribes own minds and they know they know that he knows what they know and what they're thinking you know I know what you know and you know what I know and they know that Jesus knows what they're thinking but even so the more Jesus goes through his ministry once they reject Jesus wants it's easy to keep on rejecting and come up excuses for why they're not going to accept Him as Lord and Savior as a ministry of Jesus progressed the religious the hearts of the religious leaders were hardened so ultimately they were conspiring to kill him and when Jesus rose from the dead even then they bribed the soldiers to tell a lie they didn't want people to know that had risen from the dead even from the temple treasury. Likewise today there are many today who refuse to recognize the work of God in their lives they refuse to acknowledge the demonstration of God's power they refuse to acknowledge his gracious providence they are blind to the protection of his angels they can't remember the last time they experienced grace and they said they're not willing to talk about their experience of grace and they're certainly not willing to offer forgiveness to anybody else the quickest way to experience the grace of God is to leave the sanctuary today and call somebody who's hurt you and offer them forgiveness offer them forgiveness you may not feel it in your heart but you choose love and forgiveness are principles and other emotions choose to forgive and you will experience today it may be for the 1st time the grace of God in that relationship the healing of God in that relationship and the relationship will not go back to how it was it will actually be deeper than it was before that the breach on the reconciliation spiritual paralysis today the hardening of the heart a refusal to believe in Jesus a refusal to recognize in our lives today it only leads in one direction ultimately these Pharisees we end up conspiring to remove Jesus from our lives with the eternal consequences this involves So you might say in this story here we're coming to an end here that when we ask God for earthly blessings God always answers but sometimes the answer is no way that we don't directly understand sometimes he gives us what we want an int and we realize it's not so much of a blessing other times he says no or wait and we realize with hindsight that he is blessing us but we also see in this story and throughout the Gospel that when we ask for forgiveness that he will freely forgive there's no question that we receive forgiveness with very famous passage if we confess our sins he who is faithful and just will forgive us and cleanse us of all our righteousness is a promise of God for us today and he invites us to live lives that forgive others as well. The chances are that those people sitting here today are listening online who bear a grudge doesn't the chances are there's a coworker or a family member that you would rather not pray for pray about the chances are there's somebody in your life that if you heard bad news they had a road accident your heart would jump with glee there is no place in God's kingdom for these kind of feelings or emotions the challenge in this story is yes I want to receive God's forgiveness myself but does God's forgiveness flow through me to those around me I want to challenge is today if there is somebody in your life who you think negative thoughts about who you would love to see Hurt who you'd love to hear some bad news about their car was trashed by idea maybe your heart would jump for joy and say yes good for them if you have that experience then Jesus is looking at you out there scribes is someone with spiritual paralysis and he's inviting you to forgive them as he has forgiven us the will of Christ is this glacier is one forces this Christ gave Himself for our sins so that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God in our father it is God's will that we've been we be delivered from the power of sin it is also God's will that we release others from the burdens of guilt that are experiencing in their relationship with us when the leper in chapter one fella feats of Jesus he cried out lot if you are willing you can make me clean the spiritual paralytic doesn't fall within feet of Jesus and he says lot if I'm willing I'll think about allowing you to make me be clean. My preference today is it will not be like electoral will that permitted the doctor I will be Lord I am willing make me clean today. And. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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