A Child's Lenten Meditation-Day 27-Power over Sin

Mark 2
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the man, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners

2:14-17pp -- Mt 9:9-13; Lk 5:27-32

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

The Pharisees know that God forgives. They know that ONLY God can forgive sin. They know that sacrifices are needed and a temple and a priest. That's what they know.

Jesus tells a paralyzed man that his sins are forgiven. That goes against everything that the Jews know. How can he just say that a person is forgiven? That's not how it works. That's not possible.

But Jesus is talking about how things are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus knows he has the authority to forgive sin, and he proves it by doing another impossible thing, he tells a man who has useless legs to get up, pick up his mat, and walk.

Jesus makes friends with, and spends time with people who are sinners. He spends time with people who are looked down on by everyone else as not being good enough for God. He tells the people who are angry at him that he cares about the people who need him most. Jesus doesn't seem to be worried about sin in these people. It's not a problem for him. He knows he can change things. He can forgive sin. He can have mercy on those who everyone else judges. 

This is a very different picture of God than Israel had up until now. They think most about the ways that God disciplined them. Jesus is changing things.

Is there anyone that you have ever judged or thought was hopeless? How do you think Jesus would treat them?



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