The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Upcoming: Gospel for 2.19.06

with 7 comments

Pastor Sharon will be preaching this 2.19 set – and she’ll be checking in here often. She’d love to read your thoughts.

Thanks for your many visits during the blog’s first week! I added the site meter on Saturday the 11th – visits prior to that time appeared to be in the hundreds!

Mark 2:1-12
A Paraplegic
1After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. 2A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. 3They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. 4When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. 5Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

6Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, 7″He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”

8Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? 9Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, “I forgive your sins,’ or say, “Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? 10Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), 11″Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” 12And the man did it–got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous–and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Written by Monte

February 12, 2006 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. Here’s a copy of my comment from the NT section about Georgann’s comment – wanted to say it both places –

    OK, I’ll confess I felt something funny – convicting? – when I read this comment and your (Georgann) one on the gospel. But the longer I look, the more I’m convinced you’ve got and insight deeper than what I have touched.

    I tend to look analytically at them – words about God – you write personally – words from a friend or a lover. I’m thinking like a professor; you’re thinking “as a child” on her daddy’s lap. And you’re finding what I’m after – not just cognitive understanding, but loving, actually, experientially, innocently, rapturously.

    “I hear his AMEN in my spirit” – exactly. I hear it too, but I often forget to come to his words that way. Ahhh – Thanks, sis, for lifting my vision.

    Monte

    February 15, 2006 at 9:45 pm

  2. The BALANCE of the story —
    (or the part I neglected to add in)

    1. I never saw the Silver Haired man again.
    2. As I grew I came to realize that it wasn’t difficult for me to believe that God COULD forgive my sin but that He DID.
    3. I never saw that man again.
    4. I like to call this my Angel story.

    Ray

    February 15, 2006 at 3:55 am

  3. Good Morning Folks –
    Isn’t this a great idea – We get to consider these things in advance?
    A brief story:
    I was in a group meeting many years ago and an older man walked in and sat down at the table side adjacent to me. I had seen this man on one other occasion some months earlier. I don’t believe he introduced himself but his appearance captured my attention for some reason.

    He was a robust man with a large nose, a reddish complexion and silver hair. His demeanor was quiet and positive. He walked like a soldier; back straight, shoulders back, eyes straight ahead. When he spoke there was a note of authority in his voice.

    The subject of the meeting was centered on restoring our minds. I have always taken notes at the meetings because I can’t always remember those kernels of wisdom that occasionally pop out. As the meeting concluded and I was finishing my notes the silver haired man a I engaged in a conversation about the meeting subject. ( The exact words of the conversation, now, escape me.) At some point he slid his chair back, got up and walked around the table on the side facing me. When he had gotten directly across from me he turned his head slightly toward me and said, “Remember, you’ll never see it until you believe it.”

    Ray

    February 14, 2006 at 7:03 am

  4. Yeah, Georgann! Ain’t it grand! Ain’t it marvelously now?

    Monte

    February 13, 2006 at 6:08 pm

  5. 9Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, “I forgive your sins,’ or say, “Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? 10Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .”

    Dan, I think you’re onto something – Jesus is linking the two. Sounds to me like he’s saying, “I could say ‘I forgive sins’ but it’s intangible so I couldn’t prove it. So here’s something ‘harder’ (in the sense of being less easily faked) that I’ll use as proof that I’m able to do what I say.”

    I wonder if your point is further borne out by the fact that when he sees the man, what he offers is first forgiveness! Maybe that’s what the man was asking for, and Jesus threw in the physical healing just to protect the man (or others nearby) from the gripers’ insinuations later. Seems like he rarely confronts this hard unless someone innocent is at risk.

    Monte

    February 13, 2006 at 6:06 pm

  6. Could this equivalency of “forgiveness” with “healing” actually mean that a physical healing is a visible lesson or illustration of the spiritual healing and wholeness that Christ wants to perform in our hearts? The healing points to the real miracle, which is a restored and redeemed heart. It is so easy to caught up in the physical healing, and from the man’s perspective, it really is a big thing, but the underlying truth is more about spiritual restoration I think.

    Dan

    February 12, 2006 at 9:16 pm

  7. I love how The Message puts this: I’m the Son of man and authorized to do either, or both. Jesus SHOULD make us incredulous! What He does for us is SO AMAZING! I can’t believe all the healing He’s done in my life since He forgave my sins. Actually, I think it was probably “easier” for Him to forgive me than it has been for Him to teach me how to walk again. I am so grateful He has, and I praise god, too! Georgann

    Georgann

    February 12, 2006 at 7:04 pm


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