Hope Heals Us Completely
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Mark 2:1–2:12
One encounter can change your life. It can and there’s none greater for you to experience than an encounter with Jesus. It’s true today in these uncertain times just as it was 2,000 years ago when He walked this earth. So join us for our new series, “Encountering Hope: a journey through the Gospel of Mark.” Each week, we’ll relive some amazing stories and discover the hope that Jesus brought to desperate people—a hope that He still brings today. So whether you’ve read through the Bible many times before or it’s all brand new to you, join us on this journey and encounter the hope of Jesus for yourself.
Hope Has a Mission
Jesus built a team with a bunch of ordinary guys to help share in His mission of hope. Here we are and it’s such an honor to know that Jesus is still inviting unqualified people like you and me to join up in this same mission of hope that’s still alive and well in the world today. That’s what it means for us to be “the Church,” where we celebrate this hope in worship, and then we spread this hope on mission to those around us.
Mark 2:1-12 NIV
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 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!”
Hope Heals Us Completely
A story like this makes you wonder: “Could a miracle like that still happen today? For me? And if it could, what would I want Jesus to do for me to make me feel whole again?” For some, it would be a physical miracle like in this story. For others, it could be a relational, financial, or vocational miracles. All of us (at one time or another) can identify with the paralyzed man in this story, where we feel like we were missing something in our lives, and that if we could only have this thing we think we need, then we’d finally be made whole, fulfilled, can complete.
So can Jesus do that for us? Will Jesus do that for us? Back then, Jesus performed His miracles for these four reasons, and even though He’s no longer physically present on this earth, the living and resurrected Jesus still performs miracles, and He does so for these same four reasons.
The Miracles of Jesus (then & now)
1. Express His Compassion for People
Jesus is full of compassion for people, and He was (and still is) moved by human need and suffering. If Jesus chooses not to act miraculously “how” and “when” we want Him to, it’s not out of a lack of compassion. No, Jesus cares for us more than we can imagine, and so if He’s withholding something from our life, it’s because He has something even bigger and better in mind for us.
2. Prove His Divine Power
Jesus' miracles reinforced His message. He just didn’t “talk the talk" about being the Son of Man, but He also “walked the walk” through His miracles and so the crowds couldn’t help but pay attention to His message. Likewise, miracles today are meant to point to the supremacy of Jesus, who came to be so much more than just as wise teacher.
3. Serve His Greater Purpose
Jesus came to be our Messiah not our magician. As wonderful as it was in healing this paralyzed man so he could walk, Jesus ultimately came, and died, and rose again, to forgive this man’s sins, so that He would be healed completely and restored into a right relationship with his God forever. The same is true for us. The miracle we really need the most from Jesus has already happened—Jesus rose from the grave so that we could be forgiven. That’s the only missing piece that will truly make us whole.
4. Preview His Forever Kingdom
In the timeline of human history, we live between the two comings of Jesus to this very earth, in an era known as the “already” and the “not yet.” When Jesus announces that the Kingdom of God is now at hand, it means that the perfection of heaven had finally entered into the brokenness of this earth to heal and to restore. That’s what Jesus set into motion at His first coming as our Suffering Savior. The healing of the paralyzed man is just a glimpse into what life will always look like in the eventual Kingdom that Jesus will establish fully, finally, and forever when He comes again as our conquering King. These previews remind us that the best is yet to come, because there will be a day when Jesus will heal every hurt and wipe away every tear. Hope heals us completely.
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