Tonight we were exploring the passage from Mark 2 where Jesus is teaching inside a home and there was a very large crowd. Four guys carry a paralyzed man to Jesus by climbing up on the roof, making a whole, and lowering him down. Then Jesus speaks the words to the man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Later the man is physically healed and he gets up and leaves. There is no record of any conversation between the man and Jesus. No record of his reaction more than him getting up and leaving (although the passage in Luke says he was praising God as he left.)
I asked the kids tonight, sort of off the top of my head, "Do you think that man went to heaven? Why or why not?" It lead to a great tension filled discussion with great questions and comments:
"Doesn't he have to ask Jesus into his heart, or say out loud that he believes?"
"Doesn't that fact that he got up show that he believed (and thus believed in) Jesus?"
"If his sins are forgiven, isn't that the start of his journey/faith in Jesus?"
"Was it enough that his friends had faith in Jesus and that saved him?"
Great questions - I was so impressed with our kids and leaders as they really talked about and tried to flesh out what was going on in the story and what they think.
What an amazing evening it was for me.....thanks Jesus.
Oh, by the way, what do you think? Did he get to heaven?