After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.” (Mark 2:1-5, The Message)
The Gospel of Mark gives us the account of a group of men who wanted to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing. Jesus was teaching in a home, and the men couldn’t get in the door with their disabled friend because of the huge crowd. Undaunted, they climbed up on top of the house and dug through the roof to lower the paralyzed man inside…dropping him right in front of Jesus.
Your past is behind you!
When Jesus saw the faith of these men, he looked at their paralyzed friend and said, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you” (Matthew 9:2 NKJV). Jesus was saying, “You no longer have to be afraid of the penalty for your sin. Your past is behind you. I am giving you another chance in life.”
Jesus then told him to get up, pick up his bed, and go to his house. When you think about it, this man had a choice. He could have stayed on his sickbed forever, a perennial “victim of circumstance.” He could have said, “I can’t,” or “I won’t,” or “I’m just not sure. Let me think about it.” He had a choice, and he decided to respond. His brain sent the command to muscles that had never worked before, and he stood to his feet.
Some people don’t want to change.
There are people today who don’t want to change. They don’t want to leave their lifestyle or turn from the choices they have made. They refuse to take hold of God’s promises and provision and power.
If you want to change, if you want to break free from a vice that has you in its grip, a lifestyle you are trapped in, or an addiction that you can’t seem to shake, then Christ has a word of encouragement to you: “Get up and walk. You can do it. Be of good cheer, and arise.”