“When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:5).
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The friends of this man had gone to great lengths to bring him before Jesus, and they had done it for one reason: they wanted the Lord to heal this man of his paralysis. They wanted it badly enough that they climbed to the roof of the house, broke through, and lowered him down in front of Jesus.
That couldn’t have been an easy task. I picture them bracing themselves against the edges of the hole they’d just created, and maybe wiping their hot, sweaty hands on their robes, and peering down to watch the miracle they’d come for. Any moment now, Jesus would say the word … and their friend would rise up from his bed.
But that’s not what they heard, at first. Because Jesus saw past a temporal need and went straight to the eternal need. “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
How often do we beg God for a crumb when He’s ready to hand us a feast?
The man got his physical healing. He picked up his mat, walked through the crowd, and probably waited outside the house for his friends to scramble down off the roof and congratulate him.
He may have lived a nice, long life after that — long enough to pass on his story to his grandchildren. But then eventually, like us all, he died.
And that’s when he received the better gift.