HAVE YOU SEEN STRANGE THINGS TODAY?
When some men brought a paralyzed man to see Jesus in hopes of having him healed, they couldn’t enter the house because of the crowds. So they opened a hole in the roof and lowered him in on his bed. Seeing such faith, Jesus declared the man’s sins forgiven. The religious leaders present questioned this, reasoning among themselves that only God could forgive sin. Jesus knowing their thoughts asked which was more difficult, forgiving sins or to have the man rise up and walk? And without waiting for their response, he turned to the man and said, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And the man did just that! He arose, rolled up his bed, and began walking home, shouting praises to God all along the way!
Notice how all the people responded: Amazement, glorifying God, filled with fear and they went around telling others that they had “seen strange things today!” Surely it isn’t everyday that you see what they had seen that day. People so desperate as to cut a hole in the roof of someone else’s house. Yet so hopeful as to carry their paralyzed friend on his bed and lower him down before Jesus. How strange! Even more strange was that this Jesus declared his sins forgiven and healed him!
The word translated, “strange,” is paradoxos in the Greek. It might also be rendered, “unexpected, uncommon, incredible, or wonderful.” We get the English word, “paradox” from it, which the dictionary defines as “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”
Certainly, the word “strange” was fitting to describe the events of that day. I wonder might it fit the events in our world on this day? Haven’t we seen strange, contradictory things of late? Has it caused us to look to God in amazement? Are we moved to glorify God and fear Him only?
While everyone, everywhere is talking about the strange things in our world. Can we be the ones who talk about the One who can forgive sin and raise up the paralyzed to walk?
PRAYER: Dear Father, we are living in strange times. Everyone is talking about the virus that plagues our world. People are filled with fear. Yet we don’t worry about these strange things. We are the ones who know the One who has overcome sin, death and the grave. We are followers of Your Son, Jesus. Empower us to speak of Him during these strange times. In Jesus’ name, amen.