ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 273



1:35–2:12
M ar k
261
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated
place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they
found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will
preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the
region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed.
“If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man
was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t
tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you.
Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have
been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been
cleansed.”
But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what
had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he
couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread
quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying
was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside
the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to
Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above
his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of
Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your
sins are forgiven.”
But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought
to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them,
“Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and
walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth
to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand
up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the
stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming,
“We’ve never seen anything like this before!”





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