It wasn’t just the words. It was everything. While what He said was carefully chosen in order to reveal great truth, everything else that had led up to speaking them had first passed through the fingers of His sovereign hand. And all of it, “that you may know.”
Typically, when I chew on the story in Mark 2 of Jesus healing the paralytic in the house with the hole in the roof, I focus either on the works of the five men or the words of the Savior to the paralytic.
The works of the men showed their faith. The four believed Jesus had power to heal and so were willing to haul their paralyzed buddy across town to see Jesus. And the paralytic demonstrated his faith by his willingness to be hauled. The five of them then agree to go for the roof when the doors were jammed with people. And then, of one accord, they execute Project Skylight–making an opening in the roof and lowering the paralytic before Jesus.
. . . and I will show you my faith by my works.
(James 2:18b ESV)
Or what about Jesus’ words? He could have chosen to be less inflammatory. But he knew His audience. Though great faith lay before Him, Jesus was also aware of the skeptics and the opposition around Him. And so rather than lead with “take up your mat and walk,” Jesus instead chose to reveal the connection between faith and forgiveness.
And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
(Mark 2:5 ESV)
“Blasphemy!” thought His critics. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” the opposition reasoned within themselves. But though His enemies questioned Him in their hearts, Jesus heard them clearly with His ears of divine omniscience. And it’s His response to them that has me thinking this morning.
“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!”
(Mark 2:8b-12 ESV)
That you may know . . . those are the words I’m chewing on this morning.
That’s what it was all about . . . ALL of it. Not just telling the man to take up his mat and walk. Not just the provocative declaration of sins forgiven. But even that the man was paralyzed in the first place, that too was allowed by Jesus, that you may know.
His suffering permitted according to heaven’s plan. That out of such trial, such desperation would be known that no effort would be spared to come to the feet of the Master. Even the doors were barricaded by bodies according to divine design. The hole in the roof also written in God’s sovereign script. All of it, so that you may know the Son of man has authority on earth. Authority to forgive sins. The right to reconcile sinners. The power to preserve the saints.
All of it . . . that you may know. Every aspect of life an opportunity for Jesus to be revealed. Every blessing, every trail . . . every mountain top, every valley . . . all of it filled with potential to see the Savior intervene and to hear the Son speak.
Nobody wants to be the paralytic. And we’d probably just as soon avoid the effort of carrying other’s burdens only to find doors blocked. Who wants to phone the insurance adjuster and try and explain how the hole in the roof got there? But all of it led to a fresh encounter with the Son of God. To hearing those words of life, “Your sins are forgiven.” To seeing the power of Jesus as a paralytic picked up his bed and walked home.
All of it, that you may know.
And they were all amazed. Me too.
Amazed at such grace. Amazed for His glory.