The gospel, good news that is about Jesus (Mark 1:1), mustn’t be understood as just good advice, that reduces it to mere religion. No good news is more than information, it’s a life transforming, a being-changing message. The relevance of the good news Mark tells us is that we may know the forgiveness of our sins (Mark 1:4). This beautiful heart-transforming forgiveness is illustrated for us in the story of a paralysed man who was brought by friends to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12). Jesus tells him his sins are forgiven at which you can well imagine the man expostulating, big deal! I want to be able to walk! It’s true isn’t it that we often think the same way, we have one singular need, if only that can be met then we’ll be happy, all will be well. It may be a job, medical need, sort the marriage out, better bank balance, university degree or something else, get this and I’m home and dry. But it wouldn’t be the case, not really. You see if Jesus just simply enabled the paralysed man to walk, you can guarantee that the man within a month would be back to his old, miserable, dissatisfied self again. Jesus you see, saw and met a deeper need, forgiveness. Which brought him into a lastingly rich, enjoyable, satisfying relationship with God. Jesus brought him into a joy and satisfaction that isn’t based on success, bank-balance, the state of your marriage or for that matter anything created, external. So how did he get this forgiveness? Part two to follow….