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16 February 2008

Actions Speak... ah, you know.

A short and personally interesting thought for the day...

Most who read their Bible are familiar with the account of the paralyzed man who was lowered through a roof to get to Jesus. Mark 2:1-4 (NLT) tells of it this way: "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.'"

I'm not getting into the deep insights surrouding the fact that Jesus immediately forgave the man's sins rather than physically healing him, or that Jesus lambasted the scribes and Pharisees for their evil hearts. Instead, today I read this passage and kept going back to the phrase, "While he was preaching God's word to them..."

So what was Jesus preaching about?? Was it from Isaiah? The books of the law? Maybe He was drawing a great parallel out of Zephaniah or offering a parable, as He so often did. I kept thinking, "Wouldn't it be fantastic to know what He was saying?"

There are numerous passages that specifically recount Jesus' teachings, but this account (nor its telling in the other Gospels) isn't one of them. Matthew, Mark, and Luke each focus on the action that took place rather than the words Jesus spoke. For some reason the writers' priority here is placed on what Jesus did rather than what He was saying leading up to the event.

Certainly not to imply that Jesus's words were not important in this case, or even of lesser priority than what He did, but this is a great example of the fact that in many situations our actions have an impact that is remembered more than our words.


Preston N said...

A very interesting point you bring up here. This reminds me of how so often we focus our bible studies on only the NT, but yet Jesus didn't have a NT - he only had the Old Testament to speak or teach from.

For some reason we seem to think we don't need the OT or that its no longer relevant, because thats the "old covenant" and it really doesn't apply. But if the OT was good enough for Jesus to teach from, then it most certainly is good enough for us to learn from. This type of thinking can even effect the way they see or relate to God's character or nature, thinking it is different in the OT, but has changed in NT. This reminds me that I personally need to balance out my own reading of the Word to make sure I am not missing any great nuggets of truth.

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