Jesus knew immediately [that the religious teachers were accusing him of blasphemy], so he asked them, "Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk'? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!"
— Mark 2:8-11 NLT
Jesus healed people for many different reasons and under many different circumstances. The bottom line was this: Jesus healed folks because he loved them and wanted to bring them to God. In this instance, however, Jesus was moved by two additional things. First, he saw the faith of this man's friends, and he was touched by their concern. Second, he was frustrated with the cynicism and opposition from those who were present only to criticize him. They doubted his authority, so he demonstrated it: He healed the man! Then he emphasized that the miracle he had done showed he had the authority to forgive sins. The real challenge for you and me is to recognize that Jesus' authority doesn't extend just to his power to teach and command, but also to heal, mend, help, forgive, and bless.
Holy and Almighty LORD of the ages, thank you that your authority was powerfully demonstrated in Jesus. Help me to open my heart to him fully and not only to respond with obedience to Jesus' commands but also to let him in to nurture and bless me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Mark 1:22
- Mark 11:27-33
- Mark 1:27
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.