We just have been given a picture of 4 men who went to extraordinary lengths out of compassion for their hurting friend, we saw Jesus build off their faith to meet the obscure urgent need, not just the obvious want, but have you ever noticed how some people, no matter how good things are going seem to focus on making something negative…The religious leaders were no exception…as they worked at…
Ripping up the Righteous (Mark 2:6-11) Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 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? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Someone once joked: Some people are so negative, if you put them in a dark room, they’ll develop. These religious leaders were able to develop as they heard in Jesus words an unacceptable claim: Jesus was God in human flesh! Sometimes people will argue, “Jesus never claimed to be God,” but if only God could forgive sins…they knew exactly what he was claiming to be, and in case of any doubt his clarification leaves no doubt, “Which is easier” to cleanse a man spiritually or heal him physically…Jesus says, if I can do the harder, I must have power over the lesser—then here is the biggest sign of all…He uses the title “Son of Man”— for himself…which alluded to Daniel 7:13—a heavenly figure who “given all authority; glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language would worship him.”
Being criticized is not a problem if you develop a positive way of dealing with it. Winston Churchill had the following words of Abe Lincoln framed on the wall of his office: “I do the very best I can, I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won’t matter. If I’m wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won’t make a difference.” Bits & Pieces, April 29, 1993, pp. 15-16.
Anytime you are doing something worth doing, people are going to criticize you, people are going to scoff, people are going to complain, and yet what we can learn from Christ—is that the mission comes before the complaints, the needs of the lost and hurting before the comfortable. Romans 12:2- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Instead of ripping apart the righteous, we have to ask of ourselves: are we criticizing the church or changing the world?