Friday, July 06, 2012

STEP - 7/6/2011

"But that you man know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-he said to the paralytic-"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home." Mark 2:10-11

Jesus heals the paralytic man.  A nice thing to do, but the paralytic man is still going to die someday.  There will come a day when God says "No" to every person's physical healing.  Perhaps that's a bit morbid... call it existential angst, if you must.  It sounds more enlightened that way.  But it is true.  Instead, Jesus points the listener to the meaning behind his miracle of healing.  He says it points to his authority.  That's a bit odd isn't it?  We tend to think of miracles as difficult to believe or understand because they break or suspend the natural laws.  But Jesus says in effect, "of course I break the natural law.  If I didn't, how would you know that I have the direct authority of the one who created, sustains, and manipulates nature at will?"  Now authority is simply designated power within boundaries.  But Jesus' claim is that while anyone can speak the words "your sins are forgiven" not everyone can forgive sins.  How do you demonstrate that speaking the words of forgiveness is valid for you.  Easy-by demonstrating that you are authorized by God to do so.

The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.  Of course there is great power in words.  I think the principle here is that if your going to talk, you'd better be prepared to back it up. And if your authority to speak on behalf of God is challenged you'd better be ready and willing to defend that authority.  This can be done through sharing your testimony, or sharing stories of what God has done, but I suspect that prayer will be the Christian's greatest weapon of power when authority is questioned.

God grant me the power that comes from knowing you and your word. And grant me the power that comes from knowing you in prayer.  Amen.

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