Lent devotions 4 

Monday 9 March


‘Which is easier: to say to this paralysed 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

I love this story in Mark’s Gospel.  It’s such a vivid account of one man’s life-changing encounter with Jesus. 

At this stage in his ministry, Jesus was already somewhat of a celebrity figure — known for his ability to teach and heal, he drew flocks of people to him wherever he went. Not perturbed by the huge crowds blocking the doors to the house where Jesus was preaching, one paralysed man’s resourceful and desperate friends lower him into Jesus’ presence through the roof. 

Within minutes of meeting Jesus, this man who was paralysed walks out into a totally transformed life! You can imagine his joy as he rediscovered the ability to run and dance and skip and jump. His excitement as he considered all of the new opportunities that being able-bodied would open up for him. His thankfulness to Jesus for healing him. 

But the surprise in this account is that Jesus says that this is not the most amazing transformation the paralysed man experienced on that day. 

Jesus says that the true miracle — the biggest transformation — was that this paralysed man was leaving a forgiven man. Even better than all the blessings being physically healed would bring, this man was walking into a certain future: a place secured in Jesus’ Kingdom, eternal life, peace with God. 

In this story Jesus challenges us to reconsider what we see as our deepest and most urgent need. He asks us to look beyond our physical problems to our spiritual state. And he encourages us that when we do, he is willing and able to transform us. 


Heavenly Father, thank you that you know our deepest, spiritual needs, and that in Jesus you provided a way for us to be forgiven. Just as the paralysed man left Jesus’ presence joyful and amazed at such a transformation, please would we rejoice that our sins have been forgiven. Amen.


Sarah Written by Sarah Quinlan, Communications and Resource Development Manager

Sarah used to work in communications for various medical organisations but now enjoys using these skills at CEM. She's a South Londoner and is involved in children's ministry at her central London church.

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