In our programs, we share Gospel stories with you. How Jesus went through towns and villages to bless all those who came to Him. Today, we are going to talk about forgiveness, healing, sin and disobedience. Sin cannot be seen, but it is a little like an illness. It is not the body that is sick, but the soul. Our soul has been sick ever since our childhood. We all disobey God, we sin, even those who seem to be good. We have all sinned, that is to say that we have committed acts or had thoughts that are not pleasing to God. So, it would be wonderful to know who can forgive sins. What do you think? We are going to listen to the story of the Gospel of Mark, chapter 2. This will provide us with the answer.
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Full text of this story :
HOW CAN WE HELP OTHERS?
Imagine four men in a hurry, carrying a stretcher. Well to be honest, it is not exactly a stretcher, but rather a kind of mat that serves as a bed. They have heard that Jesus has come back to their city and they don’t want to miss him. It is absolutely essential to take their paralyzed friend as close to Jesus as possible so that he can be healed. Therefore, they were obliged to carry their friend on the stretcher across the city as quickly as possible. When they reached the house where Jesus was, they stopped in amazement. Impossible to enter! There were crowds of people everywhere and some were blocking the entrance to the house. What could they do ? – Let us in! Please let us in! It’s for our friend! We want Jesus to heal him! But no one stood aside to let them pass. All these people came from the surrounding villages and even from Jerusalem, the capital and there were hundreds of them. Amongst them were even a few religious men, doctors of the law and scribes. Jesus announced the good news of the Gospel and healed the sick. Everyone was listening very attentively. But our four men were still outside and no one was moving. No way to go back, let alone wait for another opportunity, so what could they possibly do? They had to find a rapid solution. Jesus was there and they believed that He could heal their friend, right there and then. – Look, said one of them, there’s a staircase there at the side of the house. If we go up on the roof, we’ll find a way to get to Jesus! No sooner said than done. They carefully raised the stretcher and placed it on the roof. In Israel at that time, the roof of houses was a sort of terrace made of mud placed on branches and beams. They finally managed to get up there, but what did they do next? They scraped away the mud, removed some branches and made a hole. They made the hole bigger and then, using the ropes that they had brought with them, gently lowered their friend into the middle of the crowd, and set him down just at the feet of Jesus. Everyone was silent! Everyone was astonished at this unusual sight, even the religious men who were seated in front. Jesus was also watching. What did he see? Of course, He saw a man who couldn’t walk but He also saw something that is invisible to human eyes and neither you nor I could have seen it. He saw the faith of these unstoppable men. Speaking to the paralyzed man, he said: – Take heart my child, your sins are forgiven! Your sins are forgiven! … But this man was brought to Jesus to be healed! And… forgive sins… who can forgive sins? There was a great deal of commotion amongst the religious men sitting at the front. They were extremely displeased and said to themselves: – How can this man Jesus speak like this? He’s making fun of us? Only God who can forgive sins! He is,blasphemy. But Jesus, knowing their hearts, said to them: – Why do you have such thoughts in your hearts? Which is it easier to do, to say to this man: “Your sins are forgiven you” or “Get up and walk”? So that you know that I have all power on earth to forgive sins”, He said to the paralyzed man, “I order you, get up, take up your mat and walk, and go back to your house!” Immediately, in front of everyone, the man jumped to his feet, picked up his mat and left the house. He went home, singing and praising God! Everyone was in awe of what Jesus had just done, but they were also filled with fear, respect and joy. They said: – Glory to God! This is extraordinary! Today, we have seen some strange and wonderful things! 1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! Now you can answer the question we asked us: – Who can forgive sins? It’s easy isn’t it … Jesus Himself gives us the answer. Yes! He can forgive sins, just as he can heal disease. Why? Well simply because he is the Son of God. Listen to what is written in Psalm 103, verse 3: – It is Jesus who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Let me say that again: – It is Jesus, who forgives all your sins and heals all your sins. Diseases. Can you say it again with me? Are you ready? Let’s go: – It is Jesus, who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases. And now that you know exactly who can forgive you, you can ask Him for forgiveness at any time and He will forgive you. 4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! Illnesses, medical reports, operations, and so many other words evoke all kinds of disease and suffering. We know what it means and we know the value of healing. On that day, Jesus performed an amazing miracle and the life of this man was totally transformed. But Jesus also wanted to show everyone that he was the Son of God and that He was given the power to forgive sins. He did something that was visible. He carried out a healing, to show that which is invisible, for example, the forgiveness of sins, is also a very real need. By this miracle, He proves his divinity. As a child grows, he will too realize his need of God’s forgiveness. If your child’s heart is open to the things of God, then why not invite him or her to receive God’s forgiveness. Childhood really is the best age …