Day three of the Questions for Mark study and I will again use one devotional question to inspire this devotional.
“What details do you notice about Jesus’ interactions with these two men?”
Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
Mark 2:3-5 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”
Here are two issues of faith in stark contrast. The leper has faith in Christ and announces “If it be thy will.” Christ will is paramount and this hurting man is willing to take whatever Christ has to offer.
The palsy man has no demonstration of faith, but his four friends have enough faith to do whatever intakes to bring their companion to Christ. They even go so far as to tear of the covering from over His head to get there. That is no small thing if you stop and think about it. The faith of the four is recognized but what does Christ do? Rather than the obvious, to heal him of the palsy as he has done for so many other all over the region, He gives the man what the man truly needed even though he did not know it or express it. Forgiveness of sin.
In this I see one important issue common to both, faith first. The leper had faith and Christ enacted His will. The palsied man had no faith so by forgiving the man’s sins first Christ activated his faith so that when Christ said take up your bed and walk, he could respond in faith.