Mark 2:5-12 : And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
I was that paralytic, lying on a mat, helpless to give Jesus anything but my presence. I thank God for my friends, who took the time to dig through the roof where Jesus was preaching. He spoke right to my heart and said "Son your sins are forgiven." That's all I really wanted. To know that my paralysis wasn't some sin I or my parents had committed. To know that even if it was, God had forgiven me. When he continued on and said "Rise, pick up your bed and go home." I was filled with a glorious warmth. I could feel my body again, I could feel my hands! Not only that I was strong enough to get up of my own accord; I was alive again!
We were all stuck in our sin, dead and helpless to do anything about it. But God took care of us and loved us enough to send his son to heal us and revive us. Jesus loved us enough that he obediently left his father's side to be with us on earth. The holy spirit loved us enough that he would fill Jesus and demonstrate the power of God's words.
When the scribes asked in their hearts "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" they answered their own question, but were unwilling to accept the answer. Jesus was God. He alone could forgive this man's sins. He recognized how easy it was to say words and knew that people wouldn't just accept him at his words. He had to go further and demonstrate that his words mean something by healing the man.
We are the scribes. We need proclamation and demonstration to believe. People need both truth and a demonstration of that truth to believe it.
The gospel is our proclamation and the holy spirit will help us demonstrate that it is real. When we bring the truth of God's word, the story of what Jesus did for everyone, we must ask God to back it up with demonstrations of his power. This can be anything from healing, miracles, or transformations. People today are scientific or at least intellectual and just telling them that Jesus died for them doesn't mean anything without something tangible to back up the truth that he's still alive.
If you believe in Jesus ask him to demonstrate his power to your friends who don't. If you don't believe in Jesus, ask him to demonstrate his power to you.
Thank you God for loving us enough to forgive our sins and heal us.