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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bryant

Mark 2:5-12: I Would Rather There Was Some Other Way

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

In this moment, Jesus heals man, mends a paralyzed man with a few words, "I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home."

Perhaps the paralyzed man is confused that the miracle has little to do with him. Christ mends mans bones to show He is the author and keeper of deeper kind of mending in the forgiveness of sins. A man whose bones were bound is now unbound, and can rise up and walk. A human restored. And Jesus us wants us to see this man walking and understand that He is say something about sin and the forgiveness of sin.

Namely, that the forgiveness of sin is not just the wiping away of debt, but the completion of a person.

And so we must run toward the forgiveness of sin, walk with others to the forgiveness of sin, not so that we can win or not be punished or in trouble but so that we can be human.

I asked a man for forgiveness today. With all my high-minded theology, I still find myself mouthing off. Sometimes, I'm as shocked by what I'm saying as everyone around me is. I seem to realize the same time they do that I'm talking, and I'm as shocked as they are by what I'm saying.

In those moments, I would rather having something horribly wrong with my body than have something to apologize for. I would rather there was some other way to be human than to receive forgiveness.

At those times, I'm reminded that to deprive ourselves of sin, to no longer understand ourselves as people involved in the power of sin, is to deprive ourselves of Christ, who's glory, splendor and honor was to be the forgiveness of sin.

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