Reading through the Bible together
Jesus is quoted in Luke 19:10 as saying, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (NIV). Seeking the lost, pursuing sinners: this was Jesus’ earthly mission, a mission highlighted in our reading for today, Mark 2.
This chapter begins with the story of some men carrying their sick friend to Jesus. When a large crowd stands in their way, they solve the problem by creating a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus is and lowering their friend down to Him. What a beautiful lesson for us. We should never let other people, within or outside of the church, prevent us from bringing our friends to Jesus.
When Jesus sees the paralyzed man, He forgives His sins. This action astonishes the teachers of the law, who question Jesus’ right to forgive sins. It seems natural to all who understand that Jesus came to earth to forgive and save us from our sins. Nothing is more important than this, even physical healing. When Jesus healed this man, He demonstrated His authority to forgive sins. How unsettling this was for the teachers of the law who felt their own authority undermined, but how encouraging it is for all those who come to Jesus for forgiveness.
Jesus’ call to Matthew to follow Him and His association with other “sinners” and tax collectors brought further criticism from the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Jesus responded, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (verse 17). Aren’t you glad this was Jesus’ mission? What hope we have as sinners that Jesus came to save us. Just as the paralytic man, Matthew, and his friends, trusted Jesus’ power to save them, so we too can trust His wonderful grace and forgiveness.
Senior Pastor, University Church