Sermon Snippets’ is an occasional series, taking bitesize chunks from our Sunday sermons. The following excerpt is adapted from a sermon on Mark 2:1-12, preached by Nigel Styles last Sunday. You can listen to the whole sermon here.
In our house, we often have problems with mice. When we come across the nibbled carrot in the veg box or we find some mice droppings behind the chair… what should we do?
We could sweep up the mice droppings. Yes, that would be a good idea. We should throw away the nibbled veg. Definitely!
But even if I clear up the evidence of mice every day, it’s of limited value. I need to take more drastic action. I need to get out our mouse traps, pull back the spring, set an appetising sultana in place, and wait for the ‘thwatch’!!!
In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, no one got ill. There were no wheelchairs, or cancer wards or Get Well Soon cards. But then the world went horribly wrong.
Jesus could have come along and swept up the droppings. A leper cleansed here. A paralytic raised up there.
But when he forgives this man’s sins in Mark chapter 2, he is saying that he has come to deal not only with the symptoms of a broken world, but with the thing that broke it in first place. He has come to deal with sin because that is the root cause.
When he says ‘your sins are forgiven’, like a guided missile locked onto its target, Jesus attacks the thing that really needs to be dealt with.
Jesus is saying that we need to look no further than inside ourselves. That is real problem.
I am in the wrong. And not just me, but all of us. Everybody is like this. Everybody has sins that need to be forgiven. That’s where the problems of the world begin.