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Feb 18, 2024

The Ultimate Healing

Passage: Mark 2:1-13

Preacher: Jess Achenbach

Series: Gospel of Mark

Category: New Testament

Keywords: faith, jesus, roof, healing, scribes, paralytic


Jesus heals the paralytic but first forgives his sin which is the ultimate healing. We contrast the faith of the paralytic mans friends with the lack of faith of the religious scribes.



You may be seated for communion: so like our story, Andrew was talking about the story of the 

paralytic he comes excuse me he comes to be healed from his physical infirmities and God does something amazing he heals them of his spiritual infirmities doesn't he this morning when we take communion what we're celebrating is the fact that when Christ came he did that for us not 

just for the ones we've done up to this point when we ask forgiveness for our sins, it's for all the ones we ever will commit, and when he shed his blood on the cross he paid that ultimate price it's kind of like there's this physical and spiritual component I think about Christ s his sacrifice on the cross he wasn't the only one to die on the cross there were two other people up there as well it wasn't the physical that was important it was the fact that God turned his back on him and he experienced the wrath of God that is the part we're celebrating the fact that he took that in our place.

The physical and the spiritual are kind of the dividers this morning as we think about communion we think about this young man who came to see 

Jesus so let's come before the Lord and if this is something, if you're a 

Believer, this is for you if you're not I would abstain. We're doing something differently this morning and so if you're on this side we're going to have you kind of come down to the front there'll be two people serving one with the bread and one with the juice and if you're on this side you can kind of come down and go this way to avoid any uh 

traffic jams this morning but would you guys bow your heads with me as we pray and thank God for what he did for us on the cross father thank you that you saw more than just the physical you care more about whether I'm sick today or healthy tomorrow you care about my Eternal Soul thank you that you provided the way and that you paid the price. Father I can only say thank you we want to remember what you did this morning and again affirm our faith in you in Jesus' name AMEN.



Good morning, so as Andrew and I had talked about earlier, we are in The Book of Mark, and we are in Chapter 2.  We're starting chapter 2 but before we dive into the passage, I want to talk to you a little bit about why Christianity?

We're talking about this ultimate healing that Jesus did for this young man, not just for his physical presence, but also for his soul.   I have to say before we get into it that there is something different about Christianity than maybe Hinduism or Buddhism or Islam or animism. There are so many isms that are out there, and what do you guys say is different?  I'm going to hear from you what do you think is different about our God?  He is alive - amen.

What else?  What separates us, what makes Christianity different than all the other religions? What are the things we believe in?   Andrew was saying that so many other religions require all these works or all these things you must do to attain heaven or whatever the ideal that they have Christianity well let me ask one more question. What Christianity does is we get to escape the wrath of God, that's what we have, the gift that Christ gave us was to escape the wrath of God, but what sends us to Hell?  Sin.  So, if you're a sinner you're going to hell?  I'll tell you:  What allows you into heaven is forgiven sin. We're all Sinners. Sin sends us to hell, but it's not just that, it's Unforgiven sin that sends us to hell. When we receive Christ when we put our faith in our belief in Christ it's that process that we receive this path to Christ, to God.  It's not that we're any different or any better than anyone else on this list.  It is the fact that he paid the price for us, and the amazing thing is God wants to forgive you.  He desires to forgive you and we hear a lot about the Old Testament God versus the New Testament God, and you see this picture up here of the Old Testament God as lightning coming down.  Old Testament God is often taught that God is the god of anger.  He is going to go in and kill all the people who do all the things, and yet he's not he's not a different God. He's the same God in the Old Testament as in the New Testament.  What he had for the Jews to do to achieve the relationship with him – there were some different steps in the process, but his nature is the same yesterday today, and forever.

 To emphasize the point, I would like to read a couple of passages from the Old Testament that don't normally jive with what we think about the Old Testament God, we think the Old Testament God is vengeful and you better do this or else right, or else. 

 The First one is from Isaiah 43:25. “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sin. “

 In Psalm 13:34 “If you oh Lord should mark iniquities, oh Lord who could. 

stand but with you, there is forgiveness that you may be feared.”

 Daniel 9:9 “To the Lord Our God belong mercy and forgiveness for we have rebelled against him”.

 This famous one also in Psalms 130 “As far as the East is from the West so far does he remove our transgressions from us” We don't think about that when we think about the Old Testament God but again it's the same God and he has a desire, He has a longing, He wants to forgive our sin. Have you ever conflicted with someone, and they come to you, and they say "Man, I'm sorry for what I did to you I was wrong".

 Isn't that an amazing sensation that you get to experience when you've been at odds and there's a reconnection you get? It feels great! Can you imagine what God experiences when someone comes someone comes and says to him "Man, I blew it, I can't do it without you " and then you get to have this connection this communion with God the Father and a forgiveness of sins. That's a very powerful experience and if you haven't ever experienced it you're missing out. 

 I want to point out one verse in the New Testament in Acts that compares the Old Testament with the New one it says, "let it be known to you, therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything which you could not be freed by the law of Moses."

 He's pointing out that the Old Testament path that they had was broken, and Christ is the one who fixed it.

I want to preface this as we go into talking about Jesus forgiving a man and healing him uh just showing that God is the same he's not different and he Longs that we would repent that we'd come in forgiveness all right well in the first chapter we see Jesus having Authority, don't we when he was when he starts off by being baptized, Bob covered that and then he goes and he 

starts casting out demons. He heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law, and they're in Capernaum and everyone's like oh there's a Healer and so they start mobbing him and then in verse 38 he says "Let's go let's leave this place and we're going to go we're going to experience preaching because that's what I was really uh called to do" It says and he said to them let us go to the next town that I might preach there also for that is why I came.  Jesus has shown authority over sickness with the mother-in-law, he's shown authority over demons - he did that as he was going around casting out demons and then it also says he showed authority over teaching scripture.

 I'm going to go ahead and get to Mark 2 but before that, remember Jesus had gone through all the towns in the Galilean Lake district, and you remember what John talked about last week he'd healed the leper, he'd been casting out demons that whole time, but it wasn't until he healed the guy.  Jesus touched him, he did the unthinkable, and he said don't do what?  Don't tell anyone, keep it a secret because if you do then everyone's going to mob and they just all want to be healed.”   I'm guessing that's why Jesus told the man to keep his mouth shut, and of course, the guy obeys and doesn't say a word? NO that's not what he does, and so Jesus and the disciples -I guess, they threw in the towel they said “let's go let's go home this is not working” so they went back to Capernaum.

 Mark 2:1 says, "and after a few days" The Greek literally means “and then”.

 Let's go ahead and turn to Mark chapter 2 in your Bibles I'm in the ESV and we're going to read:

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days it was reported that he was at home and many were gathered together so that there was no more room not even at the door and he was preaching the word to them(again what he was said he called to do that's why he was here was to preach the word)  and they came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men and when they could not get near to him because of the crowd they removed the roof above him and when they had made an opening they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay and when Jesus saw their faith and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic "son your sins are forgiven" now some of the scribes were sitting there questioning in their hearts 

 Do you guys think in your hearts, or do you feel in your hearts we had this discussion- just as a point, in this culture, they thought that their hearts is where they did the thinking, and when they experienced emotions, they said that it was in their gut.  We had talked about that previously but just pointing it out again that culturally, thinking was in their hearts.

 they're questioning 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 heart 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 amazing so this the question that we had at the beginning was have you ever been healed has have you ever been healed guess what I've been healed it's amazing and uh and I'm talking about a spiritual healing because I've been sick lots of times I had a deadly illness and I was healed with that but the one that matters was the one that I experienced when Christ came in and healed my soul that's the one that matters because at the end of this life it doesn't matter how many times I had malaria or cancer or the common cold or covid.  What matters is that I am a sinner or rather a forgiven sinner! That is what matters.

 Well as I was looking for different truths from this passage, I was thinking about the fact that here is this guy that a paralytic, and all his friends said the healer's back in town let's take him on down. And so, they got him on this pallet, this little bed and they got down there and I had to think about how selfish the crowd must have been. Here is a guy who needs the Healer - a paraplegic! The crowd was not moving and so his friends who were so faithful and trusting in Christ went up on the roof. 

 So, the way the structure was at the time, there would be these stone walls, these four stone walls with beams going across as trusses.   Then between the beams they would take sticks and reeds like thatch, and they would put it across the beams to span the area.

To finish the roof, they would then clay mud, and they would pack it in with the reeds. There was a special roller to use, and the contractors would roll these things to make the roofs flat. The roof area would serve as what we would use for our backyard patio.  It was where they would entertain guests. In the cool of the evening, they go up there and hang out.

It was not like these guys were tiptoeing across hoping not to fall through, it was a place where they would gather and so the tiles were solid, and they had to have some implements to get through this tough sunbaked clay down through into where Jesus was.

 Now I have been preaching here many times and had someone fall asleep. What does that say about my preaching? Ha! But I have had people stand up and curse and every time something like that happens - a big distraction what happens? 

Man! It throws me off my game, you know? I'm in a train of thought I've thought through this message, and someone stands up and I just think, "Whoa what's going on?" Surely you have been here… who here has NOT seen this service interrupted I would like to know! Because everyone has seen this service interrupted, and praise God because we know that He uses even these interruptions for His glory.

 Can you picture Jesus being interrupted like that? Dirt starts falling, hay or straw, whatever it is.

If someone started peeling through the roof right now, I would not have the feeling to say let me forgive your sins and heal you” I would be saying "Get out of here man"!  

 Jesus sees this man, and not only does he have compassion on him as he discerns the hearts of the scribes, I think he also discerned the heart of this man this man came there with faith believing that Jesus could heal him he had put his faith in him. Now understand that Jesus had already been baptized into John's baptism, which was a baptism of repentance. (Even though Jesus was sinless). Jesus had aligned himself with that that kind of philosophy or ideology at the time saying you need to repent. This was one of the messages that he was preaching to repent and believe. I must believe that Jesus discerned in his heart that this guy was coming for more than just the physical I'm sure that was his intent.


The first truth I want to I want to show is this:


Sometimes God will use something like physical infirmity to get you in front of Jesus.

 So, it might be some sort of hard circumstance and I remember the first time I had a physical infirmity that brought me before Jesus. I was in the 10th grade we lived in a house that was next to a pond and this pond had mosquitoes like crazy, I mean they even killed our bird that is how big these mosquitoes were but the first time I had malaria it was cerebral malaria. That is where it attacks the brain, and I had a temperature of 106. If you have ever had a temperature, you know that is hot.

We had a gal that came over to the house, a nurse, and she would just put these wet clothes on me. I felt like knives were stabbing into my head because when you are that hot and you put a cold cloth on your head it just hurts. I was not able to watch TV, I could not read, and all I could do was lay there and think. The time passed by -I cannot tell you how slowly the time passes by when you are in that position.

I was also scared for my life and in torment. As a sophomore in high school, you are learning all about who you are and what is going on in your life and I was fearful that I was going to die. I thought I was going to die, and it was one of the first times that I experienced praying to Jesus "If you save me".

 I came to Jesus with the wrong motivation, but I tell you what, that was the beginning of what became a relationship between me and Jesus. So, this hard circumstance caused me to recognize I need something more, even though it was wrongly motivated.

 Well, praise the Lord for difficult circumstances that bring us to God, but there is another truth too. I was thinking and reading about the friends of this guy, and when Jesus was talking to the paraplegic, he was also addressing the friends.

 The section is verse 5 and I am going to read that.  “And they could not get near him because of the crowd, so they removed the roof above him.  When He saw they had made the opening they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay and when Jesus saw their faith. (Their! So it's not his faith, but Jesus saw their faith, and then he forgives the sins).

 My question to you is:  Who are you tearing holes in roofs for? Is there anyone in your life that God has called you to say “Man, I need to be bold and share the gospel with this person and bring them before Jesus”? Andrew's been talking lately about tee shirts, right? This is my clippy arty Christian tee shirt, but it does get a lot of reaction when you go to the store, and it opens up a conversation. I do not want to rely solely on a shirt it is a great tool, but I think God is calling us to do more, I think he's calling us to rip holes in roofs, but I don't know what that looks like for you.

 John, would you mind passing out the coloring sheets? Tech, if you would just skip to the last slide for a second, I am going to jump to the end here. If you have ever grown up in 

church if you ever experienced this, this is like one of the classic coloring sheets in Sunday school, so I thought you know I'm going to use this this maybe will be something that can land in your brain and help you remember that we need to do more. God is calling us to do more!

 God is challenging you to be a faithful enough friend that you can share your faith with others. 

There are people in your life, (and I wrote friend under here but you can just put under family member uh neighbor coworker whatever it is) whoever God is calling you to pray for to maybe share your faith with, that is why I give you this.

 I would like you (in the next 10 minutes, or at some time if you have a pen) if not, take it home and do it there but print the names of four people you know God is calling you to pray for. It might be for physical healing, or it might be for the ultimate spiritual healing.

 God does not want us to suffer, that is not the whole point, but it might also be for Spiritual healing for ultimate healing that he allows that to happen to push us in the right direction.

 Last night at our house we had a bunch of college kids over to watch the Ends of the Earth movie. (It is funny because Derrick and Zoe were sharing about missions this morning). Do you remember when we played that here? I was impressed that one of the points that the guy made (I think it was the president of Mission Aviation Fellowship) was talking about the people groups, and he said this line:  “This is worth giving your life for” and if you're familiar with this movie you know why that's important because many people have given their lives as pilots.  I could not find it but, I have a picture of myself inside this cave when I was a senior in high school in Papa New Guinea or West Papua. Inside this cave, three hours in, there is this big stalagmite or stalactite, I am not sure which it is called but it's the one that goes up.   Dave, what is the right one? Dave's our resident geologist, he knows those things, Cliff knew it too.

On that stalagmite were the names of a whole bunch of MAF pilots from the sixties on, and many of them had died in these plane crashes or on the field- not necessarily a plane wreck. They had painted their names with green paint, and I don't know where it is but I wish I could find that picture to show you the names of those Pilots.  The point I am trying to make is that it is worth it! It was worth it for those pilots who gave their lives, and it was very scary for them, and it might be scary for you to step out in faith. If they could go across the world to share the gospel message, could you talk to a coworker or a neighbor, or step out in boldness across the street, or the hall?



Jesus is saying is his friends were faithful and he is calling us to be faithful as well.

 Lastly, I want to address the scribes and then we will wrap this up. There are three main characters here in this story other than the crowd. We have Jesus, the paralytic and 

his friends, and how we have the scribes. The scribes were the top knowledge base of the scripture at the time. There were three different Jewish sects at the time. The first were the Essenes, then the Pharisees, and the Sadducees.

 Each of these groups had their top-tier scribes, these guys knew the Torah and the Tanakh which is the Old Testament. Many had even memorized it or substantial portions of it, but they at least all knew the scripture very well.

 When Jesus is talking to the scribes, they are doing a couple of things right. They did two things right actually, but they made one fatal mistake.

 The first right thing that they did was when a new preacher came to town, they were going to investigate what this new message was that the fellow was preaching. That is a good thing.

  1. They took what the preacher was saying, and they compared it to scripture. This was also a good thing. Something each of you should be doing when we preach.

 When Jesus told the man that his sin was forgiven, he was also telling the people in the room that he was God. He was claiming deity. The scribes took what he was saying and compared it with what they knew about Jesus (he had authority over demons, over sickness, and authority in teaching) to what they knew the scriptures said.

 Scripture teaches that only God can do these things- forgive sins and so they are left with having to choose between the two options. Jesus is either God or He is a lying blasphemer.

 Josh McDowell or C.S. Lewis, I cannot remember which one, they produced this liar, lunatic, or Lord argument. It is the idea that he did not give us an option to just say that he was a good man or a good prophet. These scribes on that day had to decide if he was a blaspheming liar, or if he was God. Is Jesus the “son of man” that he claims to be?

 They made the wrong choice; they did not put their faith in him like the friends and the paralytic, but they rejected him as God. It is the first time that Mark mentions it and this was kind of the beginning of the scribes being against Jesus as we'll see throughout the rest of his ministry.

 Jesus forgiving the sin of the paralyzed man was the ultimate healing that could happen.  The physical component was just an added benefit and a proving to the scribes and any others who doubted his diety.

 Have you been healed?  Have you received the ultimate healing that Jesus is offering to you today?  If not, then now is the time to do it. If you want to be healed, sometimes God heals physically as he did it in this case, but it was to verify and back up that he is - I was going to say was- but he is the Son of God, he is alive and he's well and he is ready and wanting to forgive you today.


Point 3

Don’t be like the scribes, Choose Jesus

 Just one last caveat, when we sin and then we come to God and we say, “I need you” and he forgives our sins, which covers a lifetime of sin. What does it say? As far as the East is from the West!

I have used this analogy before, but I want to use it one more time. When one of my kids does some wrong against me, they are still my child but there's distance and so as Christians when we sin against God we still need to go back and ask forgiveness, we have still need to go back and make that confession. It is a powerful thing, and it is good for the soul, so I encourage you this week, to please take the time to print the names of four friends and then ask God to give you the strength and the boldness to share his word with him.

 This morning we have prayer counselors available so if you would like to pray for some of the four people on your list who is that this morning,  Rick and Jodie, are here if you would like to pray with either of them they're going to be available after this last song.

 Let us close in prayer and then we will close in singing after that.

 Father thank you for wanting to forgive us, that you are seeking forgiveness from us, that you have provided such a clear and easy path.  We don't want to; we are selfish, and we don't want to humble ourselves to do that, but we know that you're in control.   God this morning we want to be obedient, we want to worship you, and help us to find the names of people that you would have us share your love with.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen! Please stand for this last song.