Friday, March 4, 2016

Daily Devotional: March 4


Week 6, Day 5, The Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 2

Mark takes some time with this story at the beginning of Chapter two. This story is one of my favorites in the Gospels and I remember the old flannel-graphs in Sunday school growing up, teaching me lessons of friendship. 

Sin is a sickness. It doesn't just cause sickness, but it is a disease that infects all of us with death. Jesus' has come to defeat death, and to heal the sickness of sin from the world. In this story, we see this theology played out in flesh and blood. A man has a physical ailment--in this case something that has led to paralysis--as well as the spiritual ailment of sin. Jesus, in a effort to show not only are sins and physical ailments not related, but also He is on earth to cure both. 

Pick up your pallet and go home

This story has amazing characters. The friends of a sick man wanted their friend healed so badly they were willing to dig a hole in the roof of a house in order to get their friend an audience with Jesus. These friends were heroes. They recognized a problem and a solution. Our problems have a solution, and we need to simply find ourselves in front of it. We need to be receptive to the forgiveness offered--the unconditional Love that requires nothing of us. We need to feel the healing, and then we need to pick up our pallet and go home.

In chapter two, we also read the story of Levi following Jesus. In Mark's typical fashion, we don't get much drama in this story, just the facts. Levi was a tax-collector. He would have been hated by his countrymen and by his neighbors. He worked for the occupiers, and not the occupied. He was a 'sinner' to the religious elite--someone to be ostracized. 

Pick up your pallet and go home

We see the sickness of sin mentioned again when the religious leaders criticize Jesus for associating Himself with Levi. Jesus calmly responds to them "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." The sickness of sin, and it's elimination, was the purpose of Christ's incarnation. He came to call us, and to heal us, and to send us back into the world to find others. 

Jesus wants to hang out with you. He wants to be around you, and to heal your sickness. But He also wants you to go home and find others who need to hang out with Jesus. He wants you to be the man on the mat, and also the guys digging the hole in the roof. He wants you to be the tax-collector Levi, and also the man Matthew (same guy!) who wrote the book of Matthew. 

We have to be able to experience the healing of Jesus, and also be able to show it to others. 


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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.