The sick man had hope. Otherwise, he would not let his friends bring him to Christ in such a strange and dangerous way, being hoisted up the stairs then let down at the risk of the cords snapping, or the bed giving away. Jesus saw the man’s body, shrunken from inaction, sin has a way of stiffening us up. He knew the remorse, guilt, shame and condemnation gnawing at this man’s heart. But before He deals with the sickness, He meets the sufferer’s most deeply felt need first. Jesus speaks to the man "your sin is forgiven." Jesus’ response goes to the heart of the matter, the conscience, the part of us which knows things aren't right between us and God. In scripture, faith and conscience are intricately connected. We are to "hold onto faith and a clear conscience." (1 Timothy 1:19) When sin defiles the conscience, faith collapses. What’s found in the ministry of Jesus is that forgiveness brings healing to the heart, the memories, the soul and body. A clear conscience leads to confident living. What Mark intends for disciples to see in these verses is a picture of normal Christianity. Normal Christians are confident, calm and secure because they know they are clean, forgiven, free of the debt of sin. They live without condemnation, are full of forgiveness and have a clear conscience. It's time to rise, roll up your pallet of the past and live in the direction of where Jesus is going.
Based on today's reading of scripture, are you living a normal Christian life?