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April 11, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”—Mark 2:12 (NIV)
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? For me, it’s the birth of my two children. But more than that, the instant and unbreakable connection I felt with them the second I laid eyes on them. I knew in that moment, I’d love them forever. But as amazing as that was, it doesn’t compare to something else I’ve been able to witness. . . . More on that later.
In today’s verse, we see the results of Jesus’ words to the paralyzed man and the reaction of the people who were around to see it all go down. Instead of saying, “You’re healed,” or “Get up and walk,” Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven. This definitely caused a stir amongst the Pharisees, who took this as blasphemy on Jesus’ part, which would have been true of anyone else but Jesus. You see, only God can forgive sins, and Jesus is God in the flesh! So, He says to them, “Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:9–10 NIV).
So, today we see the man was miraculously healed! And he did as Jesus said: He got up, grabbed his mat, and walked out for all his friends, family, fellow townspeople, and the Pharisees to see. Jesus healed the man’s body and soul. For all intents and purposes, Jesus made this man brand new.
Having seen the miracle and the entire encounter, the bystanders said, “We have never seen anything like this!” My friends, no truer words can be spoken. When Jesus works in someone’s life, when He transforms a person, forgives their sins, and heals them, that’s something truly remarkable. It’s indescribable.
Earlier when I talked about witnessing something else that’s even more amazing than the miracle of birth, I was referring to the miracle of rebirth! I don’t say this flippantly or hyperbolically. The most amazing thing anyone can ever witness—or even get to lead—is someone accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, being born again in Christ, having Jesus forgive their sins and restore their life! Truly, nothing compares to it.
Think about it: Getting to watch someone go from death to life, from hell to heaven, from purposeless, empty, and searching to complete, at peace, and full of hope and new life. This is only possible because of Jesus, who has the authority to forgive sins as He conquered sin and death on the cross. And when we do witness it, we get to praise God; we get to glory in Him and with Him! So, the next time you get to witness someone receiving Jesus, really remember what’s happening.
PAUSE: Why is it so profound and amazing to watch someone receive Jesus?
PRACTICE: Think back to your salvation moment. How did you feel? How has your life changed since then? Journal about it today or share the story with someone.
PRAY: Father, today I pray that You would present me with opportunities to share the good news and be able to witness your miraculous work of salvation and redemption. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me the gift of life and the gift of being able to share it with others. Amen.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.