Week beginning: 5th July, 2015

By Dominic Hughes | London

"Some men came, bringing to [Jesus] a paralyzed man, carried by four of them … When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

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? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all…'

Mark 2:3-12a (NIV)

What bothers us in life?

Many of my prayers and cries to God are about matters that are trivial compared to the difficulties that this man had to face.

The difficulties facing heavily paralysed people in the 1st century must have been enormous. Consider what it would be like to depend (like this man did here) on others to carry you. Or consider the difficulties you may have had in finding work. Or consider how difficult you would have found it to protect your family from physical threats.

Yet Jesus sees that forgiveness of sins is even more important than this.

Will we let this truth sink in? We might face all kinds of difficult situations in our work as lawyers this week – but our sin is a vastly bigger issue than them all.

And it's humbling to remember that Jesus offers hope and forgiveness to all of us today even though we're totally unaware of just how bad our sin is before our Holy God. To paraphrase Karl Barth – even our thinking about how crooked we are is itself crooked. But thank God that He sorted our biggest problem for us, even though we didn't know just how much it needed sorting.

Prayer points:

1. Thank God that, even though we don't appreciate just how much we need His forgiveness of our sins, He still offers it to us all.
2. Bring whatever difficulties you face before God and also remember our brothers and sisters who have additional needs and how you might be able to respond to help their needs.