Faith of a Few Strangers

Sermons

- Courageous Faith | Dr. Bill Shiell

Faith of a Few Strangers

Faith of a Few Strangers

Scripture Reference: Mark 2:1-12

Courageous faith is the obedience to “Rise up, take your mat, and go home.” Jesus’ word drew three kinds of people to him in Capernaum in Mark 2:1-12.

  • Strangers—they hear Jesus’ word and brought a paralyzed man to Jesus.
  • Paralytic—someone who has sinned so badly, he lives with the consequences the rest of his life
  • Scribes—religious leaders who manage the law for the community.

Based on the strangers’ faith, Jesus offers forgiveness and a cure to the paralytic. He addresses him as a child: “Son your sins are forgiven…stand up, take your mat, and go home.”

Forgiveness frees the paralytic from the sinfulness of his misbehavior.
A cure frees the paralytic from the consequences of his sinfulness the rest of his life.

Both are necessary. Forgiveness without a cure would give the scribes a chance to use the paralytic as an example for the rest of his life. They remain stuck in self-righteousness while warning everyone else of the consequences of other people’s misbehavior. A cure without forgiveness would send the paralytic back into his old lifestyle; eventually he would be back on the mat.

Jesus offers all of us the kind of faith he saw in the strangers—the courage to “Rise up, take your mat, and go home.” This word “stand up,” or “rise up,” is the same word used in a different tense for “he was raised” in Mark 16:5. Just as he Jesus was raised from the dead, he raises us out of our sin and self-righteousness. Drawn by Jesus’ word, we are called to rise.

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