Which is Easier?

5 Jan

Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? (Mark 2:9 NIV)

Christ, as a rabbi, took His role as a teacher very seriously. A good teacher does not take the easy road when a lesson needs to be illustrated, or a truth conveyed. He could have simply instructed the paralyzed man to get up and walk, but He wanted to let the people know of His divinity.

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, (Mark 2:9, 10 NIV)

Taking the more difficult path draws criticism – it’s risky, but the higher calling of teaching followers must come before personal comfort and ease.

This is a great lesson for leaders inside and outside the church. When people look to you as a leader you cannot take the path of least resistance. There is an innate duty to instruct, to bring truth to life, to remind your followers in powerful ways.

Which is easier? This is the question Jesus asked and the one we must always be aware of. Knowing the easier way, yet choosing the difficult because it is right, must be our commitment.

Jesus could have healed the man, sent him on his way, and moved on to the next invalid. He would have avoided the critics who were watching for him to reveal sinister or ungodly intentions. It would have been so much easier.

Jesus was aware of the rules the religious leaders were following. Many were straight out of Scripture, but a lot were man-made regulations and traditions that did not come from God. Jesus knew He had a short time to expose the burdens these extra-biblical laws were putting on people, distracting them from kingdom Truth.

Leaders must be willing to expose mindsets and practices that interfere with the mission. It’s uncomfortable to shake up people’s thinking. We don’t like it when our assumptions are challenged. But a good leader must risk reputation and flack to de-clutter the landscape of thought that prevents focus on what is most important.

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