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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 019 - The Thrill or The Change?

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. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Mark 2:10-12

This story is so amazing on so many levels. No one speaks other than Jesus. No one asks for anything; prayer, healing, forgiveness. Yet, all this and more is given. The healing and restoration are so complete that he carries home the mat that he was carried in on.

And why does Jesus do what he’s about to do? What’s his motivation? Is it to show off? Is it to build his following? To make his name known so that when people Googled Jesus that it would find him? No.

It was so that people would travel on a journey, winding up where they came to the land of knowing. But not just knowing and then forgetting. Or knowing and then moving on to something else. But knowing in such an absolute, beyond a shadow of a doubt, no holds barred, kind of knowing that it influenced the rest of their life. To know so completely that they’ve arrived at the final destination, the end-of-the-line of knowing.

This is an earth-shattering, life-changing kind of knowing. This isn’t rote memorization of spelling words or multiplication tables. It’s a rip-your-heart-out, blow-the-top-of-your-head-off kind of knowing.

And what does Jesus want these people, and us, to know? That he has the authority to forgive sin. His authority says that it’s allowed, it’s lawful, it’s permitted. He has the right to forgive sin and doesn’t need anyone’s permission.

This is different than delegated authority. Delegated authority is passed down from on high, from one person to another. Jesus was not delegated with authority to forgive, but he has it within himself.

When Jesus speaks, it’s not a command for this guy’s sins to get out. It’s something oh so much more. It’s a declaration, a truth statement of the man’s position before a holy God. There is now nothing between the forgiven man and God.

When Jesus says that he’s forgiven, he’s identifying himself as the one-and-only son of God who is from God the Father. This gives him the right and power to personally forgive sin.

One source puts it this way,

When Jesus announces that his sins are forgiven, it is not a command to his sins to depart, but an authoritative proclamation of the man's pardoned state as a believer[1].

And not only is the man healed, but the impact on the crowd is stunning. They were amazed to the point of being out of their minds. It’s like being outside of their bodies and looking into what just happened. They were so impressed and impacted by what they saw that nothing else mattered. This stuck with them to the extent that it changed the direction, the trajectory of their life.

Everything is now changed.

· The man was carried in on a mat.

· Jesus speaks.

· The man carried out the mat.

When they say, “We’ve never seen anything like this” they really mean it. But I wonder if it changed their hearts? Yes, they’ve never seen anything like this before, but it sounds outside and disconnected from their inner self. Yes, it was a great healing miracle, but did it truly impact their life?

Jesus wanted them to “know” in such a way that it transformed their lives. But their words sound weak in comparison. There is no commitment, no transformation, no changed lives. They get the thrill but not the transformation. They get the charge but not the change.

Jesus doesn’t want to do a miracle in your life just to astound you, but to alter you. To change the way you not only think about life, but to alter the way you live life. What you say, what you do, how you see other people.

That’s what Jesus wants for you and me. Real change. Dynamic change. Change that goes down to our toenails. Change that totally rocks our world. Change that makes us look back and see such a difference. Change that is undeniable, unmistakable, unrelenting.

Is that the kind of change you need? The kind of change you want?

[1] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

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