The miraculous details in the story of Jesus healing a paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 often pass over us without second thought. Sadly, this is a recurring theme for many of us who have grown up in the church. Somewhere along the way, we forget the Bible isn’t just a book of stories and suggestions on how to do life. The events detailed in Scripture REALLY happened. What’s more, if they weren’t of invaluable importance, they wouldn’t be there.
Sometimes I fail to see that a simple account of Jesus healing another poor soul isn’t something to take lightly and just “read over.” It wasn’t “just another day at the office” for Him. And it wasn’t included in Scripture “just because.”
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. | 2 Timothy 3:16-17
That means every single word in Scripture is necessary. Every single event described is for a purpose. Every single location mentioned is done so for a reason. Everything. Even all the “boring” parts in Leviticus and Numbers, even all the crisp, untouched, unread pages of Joel, Amos, and Obadiah.
When it comes to the New Testament, that rule doesn’t change. After reading pages and pages of Jesus’ life here on earth, what’s one more miracle? What’s one more random, unnamed person who was indescribably healed?
Oh, but friends! I am learning it is so much more than “just another” story, event, place, occurrence, miracle. It is purposed to teach me. It is purposed to admonish me. It is purposed to correct and train me IN righteousness that I may be COMPLETE as a woman of God and EQUIPPED for EVERY good work. Yes. It is so much more.
The man mentioned in Mark 2:1-12 is more than just another cripple healed by Christ. And the scribes mentioned in this story are much more than just another group of self-righteous people. Consider, friends, how much we have in common with these “just anothers.”
Have you ever felt emotionally paralyzed by the broken, toxic relationships in your life? Have you ever felt mentally paralyzed by society’s expectations or by worry and anxiety? Have you ever felt physically paralyzed by fear, doubt, or poor health? Have you ever felt spiritually paralyzed by sin and condemnation? Paralysis comes in many forms and many of us have been victim to it.
Have you ever felt even slightly better than another person for whatever reason? Have you ever judged or compared yourself to another based on church attendance, youth group involvement, or eloquence of public prayer? Have you ever questioned or felt a certain way in your heart that you didn’t verbalize or live out? Self-righteousness comes in many forms and many of us have given in to it.
In the end, the paralytic and the scribe both need Jesus. Both are helpless in their former state. Both struggle.
As I studied this story, the Lord revealed so many amazing truths. 12 short verses. Verses I had read countless times before. Verses I had once thought described “just another” miracle, “just another” lesson for the self-righteous. 25 years into this whole “life” thing, and I’m still only realizing that the miracles are for me, the lessons are for me. Why? So that v.10 could be realized:
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins | Mark 2:10
Father, forgive me for being so blind, so mechanical in my reading of Your Word. Forgive me for taking so long to get here. To this place of understanding that You’ve done this all for me, that I may know that You have all authority. Thank You, Father, for Your patience with me. Give me understanding as I read Your Word. Stir my affections for You, Lord! Help me to dig deep, to dive in, heart first into Your Word. May I never again fall into the trap of viewing even a single word in Scripture as “just another” occurrence. Renew my mind and my heart. I ask all these things in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Examine myself. How am I like the paralytic? How am I like the scribes?
- What paralyzes me emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually? What is the root cause of my paralysis?
- What causes self-righteousness to arise from my heart? What is the root cause of my self-righteousness?
- Identify the “just anothers” in my life (Scripture portions, people I come into contact with, school/work assignments, etc.). What can I do to stop viewing these people/events/tasks as “just anothers?”
- Connect the dots: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Mark 2:1-12. For me personally, how do these verses in Mark 2 teach, admonish, correct, and train me in righteousness? How will my reading and understanding of this account in history complete me as a child of God and equip me for every good work?