The Order to Things, Which Elevate Jesus – 4-4-22

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Mark 2:5 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 2 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. [a]Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has [b]power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Matthew the Tax Collector

13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes [c]and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [d]to repentance.”

Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting

18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the [e]friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

23 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”

27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 2:2 NU omits Immediately
  2. Mark 2:10 authority
  3. Mark 2:16 NU of the
  4. Mark 2:17 NU omits to repentance
  5. Mark 2:19 Lit. sons of the bridechamber

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Mark hits the ground running today, with 3 more “Immediately”s!!! (For an explanation on that word, please see Friday’s post.) He is moving fast and packs a whole lot into each chapter! But Mark has a point to get to. In his mind it is a fact that Jesus did all these things and he is recording it, BUT the signs and wonders are not the point of the gospel. You see Mark’s ministry was also full of signs and wonders – Mark needed to get to the point of what makes Jesus different. He needs to tell people why he is not the messiah (while signs and wonders follow him) and Jesus is the messiah – and he is writing to a bunch of pagans that did not even know they were waiting on or needing a messiah.

Frequently Mark points out man’s shortcomings and depravity – even how the disciples themselves didn’t get it. Because we need to understand we need a savior before Mark shows us how Jesus saved us!

Take as an example the healing of the paralytic at the beginning of Mark – Jesus forgives him. We all expected a healing (apparently to be healed all he needed was forgiveness as his faith showed a repentant heart). But man cannot forgive like Jesus can. We can forgive and loose forgiveness in heaven! We can open flood gates of healing forgiveness… but we cannot forgive sins, secrets, the roots of evil trying to bury in a build strongholds.  We can cast out demons – but sin a human action and there is a consequence for the human separate from the demons. Only Jesus can truly forgive and wash away our sins.

So Mark highlights the forgiveness… and the ripple effect it had on those who seemed to be determined to not believe, no matter how many signs and wonders and tangible proofs God gave them.

Mark casually mentions how Jesus calls Matthew and goes to the sea shore to preach – then they cut to a scene of having dinner in Matthews house.
Now, I love the Show ‘The Chosen”. But all shows run into problems recreating real life. So events in the show do not happen exactly as written. The show should not be a substitute for reading the Bible, but it is a great tool for showing and understanding the humanity and relationships of Jesus. In the show, the grab Matthew and go straight to his house for dinner. At the dinner, you do not see Matthews tax collector friends – it would seem, according to the Bible, that Matthew did have friends – other tax collectors. In today’s reading (verse 15) says many tax collectors were eating dinner at Matthew’s dinner party. I understand why the show paired it down and I do love how Matthew is portrayed as having few friends (just because he knew many tax collectors they may not have been close friends – tax collectors are outcastes and hated).
Anyway, my point is know the Bible, not the show!

“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” Verse 16.
Roman Pagans would not care who Jesus ate with and didn’t know Jewish customs. What they did know was that it was a huge no-no in Roman society to sit and eat with people from a different social class. The first century church literally because tearing down Rome by this one simple act – eating with other believers regardless of social class.
Jesus was NOT the socialist modern “woke” message tries to portray him as – instead, he was al about every person being equal and greatly loved and of great importance. Everyone is His favorite! Lol But it is all about people – and their repentance and belief. He came for that very reason.
He did not come for the ones possessed with the spirit of religion – and to this day we have to fight that demon at ever service in every church.

Next section may seem minor to us – why during the fast, were Jesus and his disciples eating. Well, they ate when they could. But more importantly we see another relational and spiritual distinction.  We fast now, here on earth waiting for heaven, but in heaven we eat. We see the relationship of a bride and groom – we meet the wedding feast symbol. Which for a studied Jew or you and I who study… will be reminiscent of Palms 23 – the Groom Prepares the table for us in the presence of our enemy. Do not invite your enemy to sit with you! It is your wedding feast. Your connection to heaven. Your break from hard control and sacrifice that comes with fasting. Like the angels ministered to Jesus after His fast, we see Jesus ministering to us.
But these were not Jews, that Mark wrote this for, so they would not have made that beautiful connection. But Roman society was very orderly – Like our God is a God of order – SO the explanation is understandable. There is a true order and then there are nonsense rules made up to complicate things. Romans often streamlined things and the simple-ness of Jesus would be appealing. And with the area seeped in wine making – the wine analogy was not lost to them, the readers, like the parables were lost to the Pharisees.

Keeping with this theme and food – Mark tells us of the time the disciples were caught picking grain on the Sabbath – which was against the Rabbinical Law but not against the Law God laid out through Moses. Mark explains the order and simplicity again.

“And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” Verses 27-28.

Modern Christians and the Sabbath. Ok, so let’s talk about it. The Sabbath is a sacred agreement between the Jews and God in Jacob’s covenant under Moses. It is not part of the Atonement Law that Jesus came to fulfill. It is a command, therefore, for Jews.
But the Sabbath also predates the covenant under Moses… it goes all the way back to The Garden, where God made everything for 6 day and rested on the 7th. So, modern Christian do not have to keep the Sabbath and can work 7 days a week – but it is not wise – we were made to work for 6 days and rest for one. There is a new concept of the 4 day work week and companies are experimenting with it. It is not of God, God made us to work 6 and rest one. Otherwise we will let in laziness and fill our time with sin. So Christian do not have to take the Sabbath or Sunday off – it can be any day to rest. Does it have to be a whole day? Well, we are bound by any agreement other than wisdom. So pray about it.
And in relations to working on church days – just don’t forget the verse about gathering together. It is vital we gather for church.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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