Week beginning 9 August

Mark 2:1-12 Forgiven

Hey folks,

So we’re spending the next year in the Gospel of Mark…you could say we’re wanting to master Mark and be mastered by Mark as we look at the person of Jesus and what it means to be people who follow Jesus.

Each week we’d encourage to you engage in two ways:

1. Sundays – each week use our Sunday worship resources to worship and hear from God.
2. Through the week – and then through the week reflect further on what we were learning on Sunday
  • READ – we’re providing five short daily readings. These can be done on your own or over the breakfast/dinner table with others in your house. Start with this simple prayer…
Holy Spirit
Show me Jesus
Help me follow Jesus
Amen
  • REMEMBER – a verse to commit to memory to help you remember the truth from the week
  • REJOICE – a song to help you rejoice in the week’s truth
  • RELISH – we’d encourage you to try and make time regularly to read through Mark’s Gospel in one sitting to get the birds eye view of Mark as we zoom in on little sections of it week by week

For an overview which might help you with the Relish challenge, check out The Bible Project’s videos on Mark

You can listen to the songs we sing on our Youtube and Spotify playlists

Find a good time for you and those in your house if there are others, and give the readings from Dave a go. Pray, read, ask and chat and see what you learn together as the Holy Spirit helps you.

Reading #1

Text – Mark 2:1-12

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9Which 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.” So he said to the man,  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 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!”

Thought 

I was not particularly good at Home Economics at school. On one occasion I went into class and started to make a pavlova only for it to start to go wrong. My teacher took over, put it in the oven and out came a perfect swiss roll! It was not the result I had expected going into that lesson!

In today’s passage, the group who brought their friend to Jesus must have been hoping that he would be healed. And he is. But Jesus’ response was not what anyone was expecting. Shocking the onlookers, Jesus does what only God can do, declaring the forgiveness of sins, before healing the man physically. 
How great to have a Saviour who knows the depth of our needs and who can restore what is broken.

 

Think

As you bring your concerns to Jesus, allow him to work in all areas of your life to bring healing, hope and restoration.

Reading #2

Text – 1 John 1:8-9

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Thought

Have you ever seen the chocolate covered face of a child who claims not to have eaten another biscuit?! As adults, we are just as bad when it comes to denying our wrongdoing – we are just more sophisticated in our means of covering it up. Yet, try as we might, we can’t hide our sin from God.

However, these verses bring us such reassurance that confession, though painful at the time, is a gift that enables restoration with God. As we look to Jesus, we can see God’s faithfulness and his promise of forgiveness fulfilled. This will help us to grow in our desire to come with honesty and humility in repentance before him. And as we cultivate our relationship with Jesus, this will lead us to a deeper trust and thanksgiving for what he has done for us.

Think

Do you see repentance as a burden or a gift? This week as you talk with God, try to view repentance as an opportunity to know God’s faithfulness and love anew.

Reading #3

Text – Psalm 32:1-5

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Thought 

Writing this, as the rain lashes down outside, it is hard to remember the feeling of summer heat! However, if you have spent much time in a hot climate you will know how it can sap your strength. 

Unacknowledged sin can have that effect on our lives. It leaves us with a heaviness or the feeling that we are carrying a burden. Yet, in verses 1 and 2, David reflects on the blessing of knowing your sins are forgiven. The guilt is lifted off from us as our sin is “covered” by God. This brings us great liberty from sin as we no longer live with the guilt and shame of what we have done and instead live in the freedom of what Christ has done for us.

Think

Are there areas of your life you need to bring before God, asking for forgiveness? When you do, remember that God covers our sin and live in the freedom that Christ brings. 

Reading #4

Text – Psalm 51:1-12

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 

Thought 

When someone we admire or trust is revealed to have messed up, it can be extremely discouraging and painful. When that person is in the public eye, their response is scrutinised and their apology, if they make one, is assessed for its sincerity. 

David knew about messing up. He was the giant-defeating hero and King and yet this “man after God’s heart” had committed adultery and would arrange for a man to be killed. Messing up is an understatement.

How did he respond when his sin is exposed? Psalm 51 gives us glimpse into the heart of a repentant man who knows what he has done and lays it before God, without excuse. He does not get defensive or pass the blame, but instead he remembers God’s justice, mercy and compassion as he seeks restoration from the one who made him and knows him intimately.

Think

Praise the Lord, his mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more.

Remind yourself of these words that we often sing in church. Give thanks to God for his unending mercy and grace.

READING #5

Text – Mark 2:1-12

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 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.” So he said to the man,  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 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!”

 

Thought 

The first big concert I went to was in Botanic Gardens to see U2 (many years ago – I was very young!) It was such an exciting day as we got on a packed train from Bangor, full of people all going to the same place, wanting to be near the front of that huge crowd. Do you remember what a crowd feels like?!

In the verses today, the crowd presents an obstacle. Jesus was preaching and the place was packed. But a determined group of friends found an unconventional way to get their friend right in front of Jesus. They had faith that Jesus could help him, and he does – both forgiving his sins and healing him.  

What determination and faith they show to come before Jesus on behalf of one they loved, and what trust they show that Jesus can help him.

Think

Who can you bring before Jesus? This could be in prayer, or maybe through reading the Bible together or through looking for opportunities to share your faith with them.

One part of our normal worship service is our offering. Please read this information as to how you can continue to give to God’s work in and through Knock in the coming weeks and months.