October 10, 2017
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5
The room was packed. The crowd was spilling out the door. But that didn't stop them. The determined men found the staircase that led to the roof, made a hole through the thick clay, and lowered their paralyzed friend right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their faith, Jesus, interestingly, responded by forgiving the man's sins. This, of course, caused quite a stir among the Jewish teachers who accused Jesus of blasphemy. They thought, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mark 2:7).
Jesus used the opportunity to drive home a spiritual point. "Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat 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 man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all (Mark 2:9-12).
Practical faith is demonstrated by our actions. Certainly, the paralytic and his friends demonstrated practical faith. Every believer demonstrates this same kind of faith when we depend on Jesus to provide all we need to do all He has called us to do. But it is important to understand that practical faith follows saving faith. Saving faith is trusting in Jesus as the only One who can forgive our sins and place us into an eternal relationship with the living God. Jesus healed the man's heart; then He healed his body. First saving faith, then practical faith.
Father, thank You for working from the inside out. Thank You for taking care of our greatest need, our eternal need, before dealing with the temporal needs in our lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.