Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 3, 2018

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. …in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 2:1-13.

“When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.  And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door;  and He was speaking the word to them.  And they *came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.  Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him;  and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.  And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming;  who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’;  or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”  And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

And He went out again by the seashore;  and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.”   Mark 2:1-13.

—————-

Today’s Scripture continues the theme from the previous two days’ Scriptures.  Jesus’ healing miracles were astounding and wonderful and “earthly” life-changing, but His preaching, teaching, and forgiveness of sins were far more important.  The condition of our earthly life is important, but the condition of our spiritual life is far more important.

“If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off;  it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, [WHERE THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.]”  Mark 9:45-46.

And, today’s Scripture takes it a step further by Jesus first addressing the condition of paralytic spiritual life.  “And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  Verse 5.

And, although Jesus certainly cared about the condition of the paralytic’s earthly body, Jesus emphasized to the extreme that the paralytic’s spiritual condition was far more important by only presenting His healing as being done so that they may know (and have faith) that He had authority to forgive sins.  Notice that Jesus said nothing about His concern about the condition of the paralytic’s earthly body.

“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”  And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, …”  Verses 10-12.

To rise from the pallet is nothing in comparison to rise from the dead.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:7-11.


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