Friday: 18 January, 2013 –– 1st Week in Ordinary Time
That You May Know
Why did the disciples come to believe that Jesus was the Son of God? It is because what he did lived up to what he said. This comes together in Mark's story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof to be healed by Jesus. Mark is telling the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God for a reason: to convince his readers that God has come into our broken world in a special way, and that God's action in Christ calls for our response.
No one was prepared for what Jesus said that day. As the paralytic was lowered to Jesus, he said to the man, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” The story continues, of course: But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.... He then told the paralytic to get up and walk, and the man did.
Faith is validated by works. God shows us the unseen through the things that can be seen. Jesus proves that what he says is true because of what he does.
That is why the disciples came to believe. It is also one reason why we should believe. What God says to us through Jesus Christ “fits” with the reality of life in this world –– our innate sense of right and wrong, the problem of evil, our need for forgiveness, our hope for things to be made right and our deep desire for a never-ending life in a better world. The answer to all these things is found in what Jesus Christ has done.
Mark says this incident ended with the people amazed and praising God because of Jesus. That's a great test to gauge the truthfulness and “rightness” of Jesus. When Jesus was on earth, he turned the hearts of those willing to hear and see toward the Father.
Jesus spoke and acted so that people could know Truth. We who follow Jesus through the grace of his forgiveness are to also speak and act so that people can know that unseen things are true as they see our visible lives. The invisible gets its credibility through the visible. Jesus lived that way, and he calls us to follow him.