The Healing Power of Forgiveness
The Healing Power of Forgiveness Mark 2:1-12
Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield II, Pastor
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church
Kansas City, MO
“The Healing Power of Forgiveness”
Worship Service Summary
September 24, 2017 10:00 AM
This passage blends together a miracle story with a pronouncement (or controversy) story. The problem is a paralyzed man. The solution is bringing him to Jesus. It leads to a miracle healing and an amazed crowd. In the midst of the story, Jesus is criticized for blasphemy. This story raises the question of a connection between forgiveness and healing.
Forgiveness is a complicated topic. A serious dialogue around forgiveness ultimately includes questions like, "Is human forgiveness possible?" "Does forgiveness include forgetting?" Today's text confronts us with the connection between forgiveness and healing. The answer, they are inextricably connected. If you really want to be healed, one must come to grips with the concept of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an expression of unconditional love. Forgiveness is the characteristic that deliminates people of faith from the world. What does forgiveness look like? What is it that we do to experience the healing that comes from forgiveness? This healing cannot happen in isolation. It happens in cooperation.
The first thing we must do to experience the power of healing through forgiveness is just be willing to forgive. In this story, there is a community of friends who are willing to bear the burden of another. We must be willing to bear one another... carry one another. Being willing to forgive means being willing to bear one another. We must bear those who have inflicted pain. We must bear one another until we can experience the power of God.
Bearing one another can be a messy proposition. Being willing to forgive, requires that we be willing to navigate some barriers. Some of us have been waiting on an apology for a long time. So long that the waiting has become a barrier. Some of us have become accustom to being a victim. Some of us struggle with the "blame game" barrier. Others don't want to let folks off the hook without any accountability. Willingness to forgive, requires a willingness to change. The friends are willing to bear this man. They are will to carry him to Jesus. What does Jesus do? Jesus lets this man off the hook. We must be willing to release folks. They can't make up for their sins by themselves. They are trapped and we must be willing to release them.
"Son of Man": Son of Humanity. God expects humanity to be forgiving. Forgiveness is not just expected of God, but it is also expected of the community. We have the power to forgive if we are willing.
Those of us who are the offender, must be committed to a change. Get up, take up your mat, and walk. After forgiveness, we cannot go back the same way. If we really want to get well, then we must be committed to change. True repentance is about transformation. Forgiveness is available. We don't have live our lives on a mat. We need to take up our mat so that we can move to a different space. Broken relationships, gaps between the haves and the have nots. It's time to get up, take up our mats and walk.
Have you any rivers that seem uncrossable? And have you any mountain that you cannot tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
And He will do what no other
No other power but holy power can do