Week 2: Mark 2: Get up, take up your mat and walk.

Monday:  Get up… and break down barriers                      vv1-5

‘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.’  vv3-4

The man in this story could not get to Jesus.  He was paralysed and going nowhere.  It took his friends to not only pick him up and carry him but then to break a hole in the ceiling and lower him down so that he could meet with Jesus and have his life changed.  Are there people you know who have their own barriers to having a relationship with Jesus?  Think today about what you could do to help them break those down.

Tuesday:  Get up… take up your mat and walk               vv6-12

“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”  v11

This story is not primarily about healing.  It is about Jesus having the authority to forgive the sins of the man brought to him.  Jesus was always going to heal him – of that there is no doubt – but he wanted to do so much more than that and knew that whilst even the Pharisees didn’t seem to mind him healing (except on the Sabbath, as we’ll see later in the week), the idea of him forgiving sins was one step too far.  Are you prepared to go beyond the need you think that you have and allow God to deal with the need that he sees in your life instead.

Wednesday: Get up… and follow me                                  vv13-17

‘As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.’ v14

Following Jesus when he was on the earth quite often meant literally getting up, following him and leaving your old life behind.  You were immediately identified with Jesus and everyone will have seen the change in your lifestyle.  It’s not quite so obvious now. We say yes to following Jesus and often, nothing much changes on the outside.  How will you show those around you this week that you are following him?

Thursday: Get up… and be different                                    vv18-22

‘Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”’ v18

The reading today is about being different.  Jesus’ disciple’s were instantly recognisable because they were doing things differently to the disciples of the Pharisees and of John.  When questioned on this, what did Jesus say?  Basically, “What you are seeing is something new and different.  You can’t use the new to patch up the old or fill the old with new.”  We need to be completely different.  We are new creations and as such, need to be living that new creation life rather than trying to mix and match.  It just won’t work!  Are you still living according to the law; trying to get it right or are you enjoying your new creation relationship with Jesus which is yours through God’s grace?

Friday: Get up… and get it right!                                            vv23-28

‘Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”’ v27-28

We talked yesterday about being different and living in grace rather than putting all our effort into trying to get it right.  Today we’re saying ‘Get up…and get it right!”.  How can that be?  Because ‘getting it right’ is understanding who Jesus is and recognising that the law is subject to Him and that He is Lord.  We will never get it right all the time but as long as we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and live in his grace and forgiveness, we have the freedom to really live.   Go and live in it this weekend!!