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1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 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, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
- The paralysed man had deep physical needs but what need does Jesus choose to prioritise? In what ways is this quite shocking and yet also highly comforting?
- Look in turn at (a) the men (b) the teachers of the law and (c) Jesus himself – how do they each view Jesus’ authority over sin and suffering?
- At the cross, we see Jesus bringing forgiveness for all who turn to him. This isn’t just good news for our spiritual lives but for our physical struggles too because it opens the way to a pain-free life in the future and a Spirit-enabled life now. How can we grow in our ability to speak of Jesus to friends who are struggling with very physical, practical needs?
This week’s podcast is Ep 5: Strengthening Hearts (Prayer)