Mark: Day 2

Jesus Forgives and Heals

by

Today's Text: Mark 2:1-28, Mark 3:1-35, Hebrews 2:11-12

Text: Mark 2:1-28, Mark 3:1-35, Hebrews 2:11-12

I’m a fan of doctors, of their life-saving work. I’m not a fan of being the patient.

I can always find a reason to avoid a visit. I’ll let an ailment linger for days, aiming to kick it with a home remedy or just some good ol’ fashioned pain tolerance. But a couple years ago, while living in downtown Manhattan, I couldn’t shake or will away an overwhelming, inexplicable illness. After writhing in pain for three days straight, common sense kicked in; I hailed a cab at midnight and headed to urgent care.

Desperation will do this, when denial inevitably falls short.  

They gave me something to ease the immediate pain, and insisted I visit my primary care physician the next morning. We ran labs for three days and found that all my levels were off. I could barely walk, barely eat. I was coming off a season of constant adrenaline, and when the pace finally slowed, my body followed suit. I learned the hard way that forty years old is not equal to twenty. My top priority would become rest in order to give my body the healing it required.

When I read the story of the paralytic in Mark, I’m struck by the desperation of his friends to see him healed. Perhaps he had suffered a lifetime of loss and missed opportunity. And since there was no taxi to be found at midnight, they simply needed to find a way to get him in front of the Great Physician.

There’s a crowd in the way? No matter. There’s a roof in the way? No matter. Nothing deterred them from getting the help they were seeking. Their faith in Jesus’ power to heal enabled them to break through any barrier—literally.

Their tenacity moved Jesus. Scripture says when He saw their persistent faith, He uttered, “Son, your sins are forgiven!” (Mark 2:5). Jesus started with the inner healing of the heart, but didn’t stop there. He then commanded the man to get up and walk so the resistant religious leaders could see He had the authority of God to not only heal bodies, but also to forgive sins.

We want the external; Jesus goes after the internal.
We want what is seen; Jesus goes after what is unseen.

Did He want the man to walk? Absolutely. Did He go after the healing of his heart? Fundamentally.

The nature of Jesus never changes. He always heals, always redeems, always restores. Our role is to come. When we reach our moment of desperate brokenness, no longer denying our sickness of heart and mind, we will do whatever it takes to get well. There we will behold His face, hear His voice, and receive His healing touch.

That’s the gospel, simple and plain. Jesus said, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

I want to be among the ones who know they are sinners—broken, weary, in desperate need of a Savior. I want to experience a break-through-the-rooftop kind of healing. I pray the Holy Spirit will convict me, moment by moment, again and again. His conviction is a grace, a kindness, and a revelation that all is not well. But the healing we need is found in the forgiveness of our Savior, Jesus.

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  • This devotion was great with the scripture reading. I love the part in the devotion, “The nature of Jesus never changes. He always heals, always redeems, always restores. Our role is to come.” That is so true!

  • Sashin Jamo

    The barrier I find in my way is guilt. Guilt over what I’ve done. It’s not exactly the sin that I feel guilty for but the action of sinning in spite of knowing fully well that it’s against God’s will. succumbing to my sinful nature knowing full well I shouldn’t. how do I brake a barrier like that?

    • Kim Pruszynski

      Just knowing that you are sinning is evidence that you have the spirit. If it didn’t register as sin, you’d still be blind. Also, Paul writes about his same personal struggle in Romans 7. Try using the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, when you face temptation! Find verses that are tailored to what you are facing.

  • I like the story of the paralytic becausw it shows unity. He would have never reached Jesus had his friends not gotten him there. “And when Jesis saw THEIR faith, he said to the paralytic “Son, your sins are forgiven.”” (emphasis mine). Unity is a powerful thing. God is all about relationship. I am fairly new to SRT, and looking forward to my first study here, and some unity in the body.

  • Viridiana

    I’m so glad I got to read this today because I really needed. For exactly one year this month, I’ve been facing chronic pain. Not the kind of chronic pain that can be relieved by any pain medication, either. I mean a chronic pain that’s constant and is either bearable or unbearable. When it started, it was rough, but I thought, “If this is what God has for me right now, that’s okay. I will still love him.” Getting halfway through the year, I was getting tired of having the same battle. It got so bad to the point that I had to withdraw from school the second semester. I have had and continue to have many doctor check ups, but no doctors can figure out the cause of my pain as my lab results come back normal except for vitamin D (which I am taking supplements for). I didn’t understand why God was still allowing this. Even recently, sometimes I battle with depressed thoughts or bitterness. I have to continually remind myself that God is greater. I continually pray for God to take away the pain, but I also pray for my attitude throughout this battle. I enjoyed reading this because it’s true – so often we come to God asking for the external (“take away my pain”), while he is doing something internal (changing me to be more like Jesus). Thank you for this reminder!

  • This devotion really hit me hard. After sharing this bible plan last night with my mother who has not opened her Bible in years, I woke up this morning with an anxious panic attack about death which I use to struggle with. Later today, I got word that my mom is dealing with a very serious case of nerve and spinal issues that could ultimately lead to paralysis. Knowing God is my healer and comforter, I seek Him in these situations and want the same for others around me, especially my mother. My prayer is that you all make sure He is the first one you turn to in times of trouble. He cares for us all deeply and desires to rid us of all suffering.

    • Natalyn

      I know it’s been three months, just want to encourage you to keep fighting, to rely on God for strength, and know that he loves you, your mother and is always for you!!

  • Charlotte Buckle

    This devotional really touched me and was written in the most profound sense! I have read these few chapters of Mark before but they never seemed to sink in. But with my lifestyle change and my promise to Jesus, every word in His book sinks deep and means so much more! I love the passion that each person who writes for and follows SRT has and I am so thankful for you all! God bless to all :)

  • The last paragraph was amazing!

  • Thank you for these timely words of wisdom.

    My brother-in-law is beginning new cancer treatment today. He is 24 and has been fighting cancer since he was diagnosed at age 20. None of the treatments have been effective; the cancer has continued to grow. Today he will begin a clinical trial that is designed for his specific type of cancer, so we are all hopeful that this will be the answer, the key to many years of searching for the right “cure.”

    After reading today’s scriptures and thoughts, I was struck by how hard we often work to heal ourselves physically. Many cancer battlers spend years feeling miserable at the expense of hoping to get better. Hundreds of thousands of personal dollars are spent on trying to find the right mix of toxins that will stop the cancer from growing. Endless time, emotions, and prayer is spent in almost desperation…because you just want to live.

    What if we attacked our desire to be healed in Christ with the same fervor? What if I was willing to feel more sick in order to get better? What if I told God that I would suffer anything at the expense of being with Him? Paul did. Not only did he tell God he would do it, he DID it. He suffered, just like so many other warriors for Christ in the Bible. But the suffering was always with a knowledge of something greater, a hope in seeing God’s kingdom come on earth.

    My BIL isn’t a Christian. So I find myself praying more often for his heart healing than his physical healing. After today, I think I will begin to pray for him to see his own sin nature as a cancer, one that he needs to attack and seek healing for as desperately as he has his actual cancer. And that amidst that fight, he will encounter “a grace, a kindness,” but not without the “revelation that all is not well.” I invite this community to join me in this prayer–for my BIL and for all of us!

    • Candice

      Amen ! Beautiful reflection. Praying for you and your family

    • Reylena

      Yes, what if we were fought as hard for our spiritual health as we do for our physical health? Thank you for sharing.

    • Michelle

      You have challenged me with your thoughts and perspective. What if I attacked my desire to be healed in Christ and was willing to suffer for Him with the same fervor as the other things I am passionate about? Too often I am unbalanced. I need and want to live for and seek Christ passionately.

  • Churchmouse

    Jesus addresses the core area of the paralytic that needed healing. The paralytic thought “I need arms and legs that move.” Jesus knew what the paralytic really needed was forgiveness. Jesus addresses the core. What do I need healing of in my core? Is my cry for His healing touch not what is actually my core need? Lord! Reveal to me exactly what that is and please touch me and make me whole. Amen.

  • Kara Lawler

    What stuck out to me the most was Mark 3:5- “and he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart…” When my heart is hard towards others in judgement, like the Pharisees, not only does Jesus know in His spirit exactly what I’m thinking, but it grieves him! It hurts Him to see my coldness! These chapters show the absoluteness that Jesus cares about the internal! Jesus forgives and changes, and that’s what I so desperately want and need, no matter how hard the bad is to confront. Jesus always heals, and that is something we can cling to always!

  • The way Jesus addresses the paralytic’ sins first has me thinking about how often I want to be healed (or have my circumstances improved) more than I want Jesus Himself. But how infinitely wise and kind He is to gently show us that He is more concerned with us wanting Him than He is necessarily “fixing” whatever we perceive is wrong. And in the moments the veil is lifted and we can see that YES! Of course, Jesus presence is better than just this pain being removed, the pain can even become a gift, because it drives us to Him. This even helps me understand the beatitudes more. Blessed are any of us with needs or pain that we come to Jesus with…because we’ll get JESUS. Hallelujah!

  • That last paragraph! YES!
    “I want to be among the ones who know they are sinners—broken, weary, in desperate need of a Savior. I want to experience a break-through-the-rooftop kind of healing.” Yes!
    Thank you!

  • Love reading everyone’s comments. I used to be so confident in myself but young and sinnful. Then I went through a relationship that grew me and made me understand what my self-worth was, but also this person pushed me into the ground with his words in a this-will-better-you-in-a good-way type of way, making my self confidence lower than it had ever been. After that relationship I jumped right into another and didn’t realize how much I was destroyed as a person. Four months later, I broke up with my boyfriend and now am dialing in to finding myself again, understanding that it is all about internal to be happy with your surroundings and life and understanding God works to heal the inside and then the outside falls into place. Thank you for everyone’s comments and making me realize I am not the only one dealing with internal stress and anxiety. God provides in miraculous ways, but it is up to us to realize what we have to do to get out of our internal situation. I will be praying for everyone and know God will provide at the right time for each of you – patience is KEY.

  • Hannah Homiller

    Jesus came to preach, and he came to restore sinners. All this anticipation and movement – I can only imagine what it must have felt like to have been one of the Twelve and then to be granted authority to perform the miracles you had just seen! It’s absolutely incredible!

    In Mark 2:27, Jesus says that “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath”. The Lord’s Day is for us to be with Him; He reaches out to us as he did with the man with the withered hand. He is the Redeemer, filled with compassion, who is moved by sinners’ faith.

    My heart is full today.

    • Kara Lawler

      What stuck out most to me was Mark 3:5- “He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their harness of heart…” When my heart is hard towards others in judgement, like the Pharisees, not only does Jesus know in His Spirit exactly what I’m thinking, but it grieves Him! It hurts him to see my coldness! These chapters make it so obvious that it’s about the internal change first. The internal healing. And that’s what I so desperately desire, even if it’s so hard to confront! Jesus always heals. And that is something we can always cling to!

  • When I took a class titled “Jesus and the Gospels” in college, my professor told us that back in that century any kind of sickness or disability was caused because someone along the line sinned. People believed this was their punishment, so to imagine hearing Someone has come to make you clean, healed, perfect, blameless, sinless again…that must have been powerful and life changing. So when Jesus speaks to the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, imagine what that felt like and how the crowd reacted! Jesus always went straight to the point.

  • Christine

    What jumped out at me was the contrast between the old and the new. Jesus and the Pharisees. Grace and the law. The wording in chapter 3, verses 5&6 highlights it best I think. The man stretches out his hand (will you reach out today??) and is restored. Immediately the Pharisees begin plotting how they might destroy Him. Jesus restores, the law destroys. There is so *much* in this in this gospel! I get so excited reading all of my notes end in exclamation marks!

  • Christina D.

    I am feeling lately like I’m beginning a journey of digging deep into my heart and handing over years of internal sin and brokenness that I have been holding on to. This story touches a nerve for me today. I was thinking that the paralytic and his friends probably did not anticipate that the first thing Jesus say was “your sins are forgiven.” They wanted to see physical healing. But Jesus’ priority is internal. Their faith brought about an internal change. How easy it is to overlook it when there’s the flourish and shine of the external. But Jesus used the external to make an illustration about his power to forgive. His priority was always the internal. So often my prayer and desire is for God to change things. But as I begin walking through this season, if I have one breath to pray, let it be “Lord change ME.” Lord show me the depths of my heart and soul that desperately need your healing.

    • SuzD

      Christina, thank you for sharing. Your words struck a nerve in me, because I too, am praying to be changed.

  • I’m having a difficult time understanding the part ‘Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath’

    I understand that picking the heads of grain on the Sabbath was considered unlawful and that’s why the Pharisees were all worked up. Maybe it’s kind of a literary sandwich and that’s why I’m confused? “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even on the Sabbath.” Maybe I’m overthinking it but if anyone could explain it to me that would be super helpful.

    • Carolyn

      The Sabbath is a day of rest from our daily, physical and mental work. Jesus is Lord no matter what day it is. They just couldn’t see or even wanted to see that he was the Son of God. Just caust it’s the Sabbath doest mean we stop breathing, or eating or helping others. The Sabbath was a gift God gave us from the beginning. The Pharisees considered it a rule that was not to be broke, instead of a gift.

    • Jane

      I had a hard time understanding this also.

    • Laura

      Yes, what Carolyn said. The Pharisees had become so legalistic about the Sabbath that they couldn’t even say whether to let a man live or die, eat or starve, be healed or continue to suffer — they were missing the whole point of the Sabbath, that it’s a gift to them. Jesus is the Healer and if He is the Lord of the Sabbath, then we ought to choose life, nourishment, and healing over their alternatives- on the Sabbath and every day.

    • MommaMindy

      I think of it just like creation … God put everything perfectly in place for us to live – including the Sabbath. Jesus was feeding the disciples nourishing them and filling their emptiness. The Pharisees were treating Sabbath as if they ruled over it with rules. It had no substance. Jesus is the Lord of our lives and already set up everything we need. “Remember the Sabbath day … Is to help us be re-nourished every single week. I really had to pray about that one as well!

    • Caramie

      1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -John 1:1. 14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”-John 1:14
      1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”- Genesis 1:1. 2 “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”- Genesis 2:2-3.
      Exodus 31:12-17…Moses getting the ten commandments
      Leviticus 23…the Sabbath and the Old Law
      Mark 2:23-28…Jesus is lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is God made flesh. God is the creator of the Sabbath.Jesus came to give us rest from laboring to achieve salvation on our own works, which could never be done. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, His blood covers us and we are no longer bound by the old covenant but have been made free through Christ. We can now find mercy and rest in Jesus Christ our Savior.
      Lastly, Hebrews chapters 4 &7. :) just wanted to share…♡ Everything in scripture points to Jesus. He only is the way, the truth, and the life. I am loving this study so far. And I have thoroughly enjoyed reading yall’s comments. :)

  • Caroline Harries

    This right here —> “The nature of Jesus never changes. He always heals, always redeems, always restores.” So thankful for HIM!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Tochi Heredia

    Today’s reading convicted me.
    I’ve been having chronic migraines for 2 years now and I’ve been so focused on my pain that I neglected my heart. I figured that God might had a reason for this illness, so why bother praying about it. I began to believe that God wanted me to be in pain.
    I forgot about my brokenness of heart and mind. But today, I’m so thankful that it makes me terribly sad. I’m angry at my sin and more understanding of my illness.

    ” The nature of Jesus never changes. He always heals, always redeems, always restores. Our role is to come.” I love this!!!!
    I want to be like the paralytic’s friends, bold enough to take extreme lengths to be able to pour my heart at my Savior’s feet. He might not take away the physical pain, but He’ll sure restore my heart.

    • Steph

      I am in a similar place. I suffer from anxiety and I’m always worrying and stressing out but I dont take it to God like I should. I also know that there are times when my mental and physical symptoms lead me to sin (laziness, not trying my best, inconsiderateness, lying because people dont understand that mental health issues are real problems…) but I dont think about wanting to heal or change the sin that results from my symptoms. I only think about not wanting to be anxious. I’ve never even thought about how healing of the body and healing of sin is related and that makes me so sad. I too am angry at my sin and praying that this anger motivates me to change. Praying for you as well Tochi.

      • Naomi

        Steph, anxiety is not a mental disorder. It is a reaction to something out of balance in the body, but stress definitely affects the body negatively so it’s a vicious cycle. I suffered from anxiety and severe insomnia because my hormones were out of balance most likely due to the fact that I was working multiple graveyard shifts every week along with other stressful situations in my life. Praise God he has healed me through natural hormone replacement!

    • Theresa

      Tochi, I’m praying for you as I used to suffer from almost daily migraines and had them since I was a child so I know the all-consuming pain involved. If you have not had your heart checked please do so as sometimes there can be an issue there that is causing the migraines. I was not aware of this but read about it. Mine are gone now as they finally discovered the underlying problem.

    • She Reads Truth

      Tochi, thank you so much for sharing your heart with us today. Praying for you, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Jennifer W.

    “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:12
    This is the mood of Mark that gets my heart pumping a little faster. After all of the build up of the Old Testament covenants and stories (Ruth certainly among them!), we get to see the moment that the world has held it’s breath for start to unfold. We had never seen anything like Jesus. He is the unexpected, yet anticipated One that Creation has been yearning for.
    I loved being reminded of that anticipation today- What’s HE going to do next? When will we see Him again?

    • Nikravesous

      Yes! Thank you for highlighting this! How like God to send us the Promised One in a wholly different fashion than had been expected–different and infinitely better! His ways are truly greater than our own!

  • Calling us out that we all need Jesus! Every day! His power is the only thing we need.

  • Your last paragraph sums up the cry of my heart. Thank you for putting it into words.

  • We see in Mark 2: 8 that Jesus understood in His spirit what the people were thinking in their heart. As I read this, conviction followed and I was reminded that Jesus understands in His spirit what I am thinking in my heart. He knows the good and the bad of my thoughts. My prayer today is for God to purify all of my thoughts. I pray that I will spend less time stressing over unpacking boxes, organizing my home (we recently moved) and stressing over the wrong sofa being delivered. Instead may I center my thoughts on Jesus.

  • I love this; God is about healing not only the body, but also (and perhaps more importantly) the spirit, the heart. As humans, we have a tendency to always want the immediate, the tangible, the things that to us seem more pragmatic. We often overlook those things that are unseen, matters of the heart. In my mothering and parenting, I often forget that I am concerned about my children’s hearts, not only their external behavior. But from the heart, the mouth speaks. Lord, help me to remember that you heal the outside and the inside. You care about both.

  • Our tendency to focus on what is seen rather than what is unseen is striking in these passages. I’m reminded that His ways are not ours, nor are His thoughts, His plans. They are higher, they are more focused on the internal rather than the external. We use coverings for the external just as Adam and Eve did to cover our internal hurt, pain, scars and sin. But we get to come, we get to meet Him in the crowds and be changed wholly and completely.

    I love the thought that the changes internally are fundamental to reflecting healing and wholeness externally.

    • Lydia

      Yes, totally love your thought about how external healing and wholeness requires internal change.

    • Amy Jane

      Beautiful.! Your thoughts are inspiring.

    • drasch

      Yes! I think of my kids, how they ask for things and get angry when the answer is ‘no’ because they don’t understand the bigger picture. I’m the same way with God; I don’t understand the bigger picture, and I’m not very patient, and I want to understand NOW, to have healing NOW, to grow and change in Christ NOW. Sigh.

    • Rochelle

      love your comparison between Adam & Eve’s physical coverings and our own emotional ones. what a great visual, and so true! that was for me today.

    • She Reads Truth

      Yes! Love this, Sara. Thanks for joining us today, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

      • Elzani

        Tochi and all the women @shereadstruth. I never knew that my thought life was making me physically sick. I came across a doctor who did all kinds of blood tests. In short my health was in a real bad state, always anxious, always super tired and had so many problems with my digestion system. I received a book from my sister-inlaw, it truly changed my life. Your thought life and your sins is connected to every sickness on earth. Thats why God forgave this paralytic sins first, because that brings healing. Healing of the heart, healing of the spirit, healing of the mind and body. The book I am reading is from a doctor in South Africa, she writes from both a medical and a believers perspective. She shows how God’s words medically manifests in you and why you need to Sanctify your heart before healing comes. I am so grateful God is working in my life and sanctifying me, which is leading to healing. HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD, for first working with my INNER!!
        “His conviction is a grace, a kindness, and a revelation that all is not well. But the healing we need is found in the forgiveness of our Savior, Jesus.”

        • Elzani

          I forgot to give the books name:
          “Healing begins with the sanctification of the heart” Dr MK Strydom

    • Brandi Elam

      I love this so much. Thanks for sharing!!

  • This is the second reading before 630 this morning that The Great Physician is mentioned. I love the coincidence and know it is time for rest and healing.

  • I’m so grateful for God’s unending grace. Have a blessed day sisters!

  • Good to see you Tina!

  • Tina Blankson

    Hello.
    Good morning….my name is Tina. I am a sinner in need of the Saviour Jesus….
    Lord God, I pray that I have the tenacity of the guys every moment of every day, who’s Faith in Jesus was so convicting, they carved a hole in a strangers roof to get to the TRUTH of their faith…..Jesus thank you that you came to call us sinners, thank you that you came to forgive, save, and add us to the number called Forgiven.., Loved.., Saved by Grace.., Redeemed…, Loved, loved loved.. Thank you Lord God, for the gift of your Son Jesus, who makes this life possible…Thank you…
    Amen…xx

    It’s been a while Sisters…..my travels did not allow be to touch base with you…but I’m home now…YAY…Looking forward and excited to be back in the fold…..
    Every Blessing and love to ALL around…xxx

  • Reading these 2 chapters of Mark together, the thing that really stood out to me was the opposition Jesus faced, right from the start of his ministry. All through these chapters, people are misunderstanding, questioning, criticising…
    It’s really sad that, instead of marvelling at the miracle of the man’s hand being healed, the Pharisees couldn’t see past the fact that it was on the Sabbath and even plotted to kill Jesus because of it.
    It reminds me that if we’re seeking to obey God there will be opposition but, like Jesus, our focus should be on doing God’s will and pleasing him, rather than pleasing people.

    • candacejo

      That’s what I was noticing as well. Every paragraph began with their skepticism. “…and they watched Jesus…” just like predators wanting Him to heal or do something they could accuse Him of. And even His own family thought He was out of His mind! (I’m going to have to study that some more, Mark 3:21)

      Love your thoughts…keep doing the will of God despite the opposition and naysayers!

    • Christy

      We can’t underestimate the power of Satan’s lies to influence our hearts. Thankfully that power is crushed by the greater power of God for those in Christ. Yet we must still make the choice every minute of every day to turn back to Him and away from the destructive power of sin. Pray for those whose will is weaker than yours and know that your loving words can be just the salve needed, even if it seems too hard from the opposition.

  • Mark is one of those gospels that I go back to time and again when I share the Good News with someone. I will tell the story of the paraylitic and that amazing interaction of “Which is easier , to say to the paralytic, ‘ Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Rise pick up your bed and walk? So that you may know 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 sometimes when I need reminding I come back to this, too.

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