Lent 2022 • Week Two Jesus Rejects No One

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven…Get up, take your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:2b, 6b

Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13b (NIV)

Bible Reading: Luke 5:17-26

“One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Insights of This Passage:

1. It was the faith of the men carrying the paralyzed man that Jesus saw and verbally recognized.

2. Jesus’ response to these men, to everyone gathered was unexpected; Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven.” I am sure many in the crowd were gasping, some in amazement and others horrified that this man, Jesus who was not a Levitical priest offered forgiveness and to make matters worse no sacrifice was offered for the forgiveness. “Who can forgive sins but God alone” scoffed many in the crowd I’m sure. And, this is precisely who and what Jesus was born to do. He is God in the flesh, the Son of God. What was not known at the time but we know now, Jesus himself was the sacrifice offered for the forgiveness of all sin.

3. Jesus, could have healed the paralyzed man and sent him on his way; but Jesus offers more than healing of the body. Jesus can do what no other can do, he offers spiritual healing through the forgiveness of sin. He can bridge the gap between human to the divine that sin fractured in the Garden of Eden. Jesus’ love is so much more than the superficial we are accustomed to, that is why this story is so important, Jesus healed the man who was paralyzed by sin through forgiveness, then he healed his paralyzed body.

Challenge Exercise

Imagine yourself lying on a mat

1. Who is lowering you through the roof?

🤔 💭 🧐 💬 🤨 💭 🤔 💭 🧐 💬 🤨 💭🤔

2. Which friends in your life demonstrate Jesus’ love for you by believing in His compassion and mercy even when you don’t dare hope it for yourself?

🤔 💭 🧐 💬 🤨 💭 🤔 💭 🧐 💬 🤨 💭🤔

Today, reach out to those precious friends and thank them for tangibly demonstrating Jesus’ love in your life.

* Is there a friend that needs to have you “lower them through a roof.”

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” ~Colossians 3:12-13

A Prayer for Friendship

Lord Jesus, Thank you for giving me such a vibrant community of friends to do life with. I praise you for the people you have blessed me with, the ones who have come alongside me to love, encourage, support, and uplift me through all the twists and turns of life. I’m so grateful that I do not have to go through life alone, but that you have shown me examples of your love through my dear friends. I pray that you would be present in my friendships, that you would be drawing us together in deeper community with one another toward greater unity with you. I pray that you would help heal any places of brokenness or discord in my friendships, and that you would restore any friendships that have fallen apart. May I shine your light in my friendships, giving glory to you through all that I do, say, and think. Thank you for my friends, Jesus. Thank you for the ways they build me up and remind me of your goodness and faithfulness. In your name I pray. ~Amen.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

Further Study Bible References:

Psalm 34:17-20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2034:17-20&version=NIV
Psalm 94:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2094:14&version=NIV
Isaiah 53:3 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Isaiah%2053:3&version=NIV
Matthew 9:1-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%209:1-8&version=NIV
Mark 2:1-12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Mark%202:1-12&version=NIV
Luke 5:17-26 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Luke%205:17-26&version=NIV
John 1:11 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%201:11&version=NIV
James 2:13 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=James%202:13&version=NIV