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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, July 11, 2005

"But That's Not What I Came For."

"Your sins are forgiven." That was all that he said. My four friends gave of themselves to take me to this man who we heard and have come to believe that he can heal. A miracle worker. Someone who can fix what I have lived with for all my life. This is what I have been waiting for. This is the day that I was to be forever changed. Upon arrival, we noticed the amazing number of people pushing and shoving, trying to get a glimpse of this man, to hear what he had to say. The crowd, we suddenly realized, was too much for us, and we had no way to get to him. So we stopped in discouragement and dismay. Every time something great was supposed to happen, other people and insurmountable obstacles seemed to always get in the way. But just as we began to turn back, one of the guys shook of the doubt and frustration and convinced the others to press on. "We must get to this man. He is the only one who can heal our friend. Whatever it takes, we are going to get to him," he said with relentless trust and passionate determination. Feeling their selfless love and compassion to help me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and humility. There were taking me to a place I could not go myself, to a person I could not find on my own. Approaching the crowds, we began to get the blank faces and glaring looks and other smirking, thinking in their heads, "Now, how in the world do you think you are going to get to this rabbi?" I was concerned that the ridicule and mockery of the crowds would deter my friends and cause them to turn back. But it seemed that the crowd's jeering only solidified their resolve. They worked their way through each line of shoulder-to-shoulder row of spectators and patiently found their way somehow up onto the roof. Another said, "If we are going to get him to this miracle-worker, we must tear a whole in this roof." We had no tools, no utensils to tear through the rock and mortar. Yet they began to pound and punch. Minutes became hours, and after worn out hands, bruised needs, and sweat-stained brows, the hole first began to appear. We began to hear those below yelling at us, and the owner of the house threatening us, demanding that we come down. But by this time, it was no turning back. We have come this far, and this Jesus man is just below. Finally, the hole got big enough that they could see the rabbi. Interestingly enough, he was not upset over what we were doing. As a matter of fact, he stopped his preaching and turned his attention to us. Watching in amazement, he let the rock and dust fall on his head as though it was just what he was waiting for. Eventually the hole was big enough to let me down. That fateful moment seemed to have stopped in time. His eyes pierced me through and through, yet when he looked at my friends, he smiled and was overjoyed by what seemed to upset everyone else around him. My friends just looked down, knowing that their job was done, and they were ready to receive any accusations or penalties for having pushed through crowds, tearing a hole in the owner's house, and interrupting his message. Seeing all that my friends had done, the moment we had been waiting for had come. Opening his mouth, this miracle worker said, "Your sins are forgiven." What? I was confused. That was not what I was expecting to hear. In my head, I could not stop thinking, "My sins? What about my legs? You mean to tell me that you are not going to heal me? What about all that my friends did to get me here? Are you going to make me leave in the same condition that I came?" Then something provoked him to turn his attention away to some in the crowd who were whispering about what he said. Addressing them, the tone of his voice and disposition changed with sternness and boldness, saying, "Which is easier, you think to tell this man 'Rise up and walk' or 'Your sins are forgiven?'" You see, they understood that he was blaspheming because no one can forgive sins but God alone. This miracle worker was not claiming to just be a miracle-worker, he was claiming to be God! At that moment, I thought it was all over. He could not be God, could he? Is this the Messiah? Then he said again, "So that you would know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth, I tell this man to 'Rise up and walk.'" Suddenly, strength came to my legs, and the palate that I had lived on all my life was a souvenir of the man I used to be! I leaped up with sheer joy to see that this man changed my life! As the excitement and overwhelming joy settled in my heart, I had the courage to ask him, "Why did you first say to me, 'Your sins are forgiven.' That was not what I came for?" He simply said, "Yes, but it was the reason for why I came." Suddenly, I understood that he was who he said he was. This is God. This is the Savior of the world. My greatest problem was not that I was a paralytic, but that I was a sinner. He saw in me what no one else could see, and he forgave me of the sins that I had committed against him. So whenever I get a chance to tell my story, I always am reminded of how my four friends' faith and extraordinary commitment to get me to Jesus changed my life. Where would I be without some friends to bring me to Jesus? Where would I be if there was not a Savior who would accept me, even if I came through a roof? He was so inviting, so available, so accessible. Now that I have legs to walk, and a heart that has been forgiven, I have made it my life's goal to glorify this Man by bringing others to him. Not necessarily paralytics or blind men or the lame, but sinners, for those are the people for whom he came. Jesus - the one who would save his people from their sins. (This is my interpretive story of the sermon I preached yesterday. Hope it encourages you.)


Blogger lolib said...

timmy, i have been trying to find the pictures from my moms birthday. please tell me where i can find them. hope you two are doing well and i hope too see you soon. love, loli

7/11/2005 08:56:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...


I have yet to post most of them. The few that I have are details of the day (balloons, flowers, fruit, dogs, etc.). You can check them out at my flickr daily zeitgeist on the toolbar on the right side (the flash square thingy with pictures). Let me know if you still can't find them.

Read any of my posts on the blog?

7/11/2005 09:12:00 PM

Blogger Jimmy said...

This was amazing, my friend. I enjoyed it greatly. It was something that I was just sharing about with my friends the other night--my desire to see the stories of Scripture become real to us, for us to see the narrative of God and not just extract the doctrines and laws from it.

Thank you.

7/11/2005 10:51:00 PM

Blogger KJ said...

Great work. You ought to try your hand at narrative poetry (like Piper's). I just throw out on a blog a tragedy I wrote in college based on Sennacherib assalt on Jerusalem. It is rather lengthy; read it if you have the time. It is prehaps a poor imitation of Greek tragedy. Read it at www.sennacheribtragedy.blogspot.com

7/12/2005 09:57:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Inviting to the reader but true to the text. Your additions were simply Biblical truth applied here that resulted in my praise to God for coming to such a sinner as I and giving me what I never knew I needed.
Keep writing!!
David Kizz

7/14/2005 08:56:00 AM


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