Questioning God

One day some friends of a paralytic man were so intent on bringing him to Jesus that they found out where Jesus was staying and carried the man there on a stretcher. But his house was packed and they could not get in the door. With dogged determination, the paralytic’s friends removed the roof top and lowered the man down through the ceiling! Jesus was in the middle of teaching a lesson when the commotion of it all interrupted his train of thought! “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”1 And I am sure Jesus smiled and probably nodded his head at the man’s good friends.

Isn’t it interesting, though, that Jesus did not heal the man? (Not at first, anyway! 😏) Jesus’ reputation had preceded him. A few days earlier, “the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.”2  Surely the crowd was anticipating that Jesus would restore this man’s legs, which was undoubtedly the reason he came. So when Jesus did not, and instead spoke words about sins being forgiven, I imagine the room got very quiet. The paralytic man was probably a bit perplexed with Jesus’ words—though grateful. 🙂

It was a tense moment. The scribes were darting their eyes at each other and taking mental notes, and “questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”3 The scribes were pondering, Who does this man think he is! But dared not to speak it aloud! And then . . . after a moment or two . . . Jesus stunned everyone by asking, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?”4

Wow. This must have made everyone sit up straight, don’t you think? The scribes were shocked! How did he know what we were thinking? Did somebody say something? I think it’s a good observation to make—to understand that God knows that we question him! The real question is do we? 😯

Do we realize how often we question God? Are we aware of how many times we doubt him and by doubting him, doubt his omnipotence and omniscience? Every time we question him, we are confessing that we have no faith in him. And you know, God does not require that we work hard for him, or that we understand everything, or that we are perfect or even good. He only requires that we believe in him!  Believe that he exists, and is our creator, and loves us, and, most of all, that he knows what he is doing! Or as Solomon writes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”5

We, however, prefer to trust our “own understanding” (intelligence, wisdom, insight)—as if we know more than God! I wonder if one of the paralytic’s friends walked over to Jesus and kindly pointed to his friend’s legs, thinking Jesus had overlooked the obvious problem. 😬 I wonder if the paralytic man might have felt disappointed when Jesus said he forgave his sins, for surely in his heart he was thinking, Yeah, but what about my legs! 😕

It sounds quite heretical to admit it, but God disappoints us sometimes, doesn’t he? And maybe we do not voice our disappointments aloud, but the questions are there.  Even though we know we need “to trust in the Lord,” it is hard.  Let’s face it—just like the scribes, we question God in our hearts. 😞 A lot. The good news is this: he loves us anyway! “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”6

But here’s the best part!  After acknowledging that the scribes did not trust him, Jesus looked at them and said because he wanted them to “know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”7 he would go ahead and heal the paralytic man. And he did! And the man “rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”8

So. . . to be clear . . . Jesus healed the paralytic man’s legs because the scribes questioned things in their hearts! 🤔 Hmm. How great is God’s love for us? Have you ever seen anything like it? 🙂

1Mark 2:5    2Mark 1:33-34     3Mark 2:6-7       4Mark 2:8    5Proverbs 3:5     6Romans 5:8      7Mark 2:10     8Mark 2:12




1 Comments on “Questioning God”

  1. And you know, God does not require that we work hard for him, or that we understand everything, or that we are perfect or even good. He only requires that we believe in him!
    Loved these sentences. We are looking at this same concept in the Well last night.

    Enjoy the conference and the beach!!

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