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Jesus, the Paralytic, and Forgiveness of Sins (Mark 2:1-12)

By Wayne Davies

In Mark 2:1-12 we read the account of Jesus’ miraculous healing of a paralytic. This story is fascinating on at least three levels.

The faith-filled determination of the paralytic and his four friends.
Just getting the paralyzed man to Jesus was a quite a feat, for Jesus had recently returned to Capernaum, his ministry headquarters in Galilee, after a preaching tour throughout the region (see Mark 1:39).

When Jesus comes home to Capernaum he is mobbed by the crowds eager to benefit from his supernatural healing ability. And the fact that he had healed a leper gave people all the more reason to flock to him (see Mark 1:40-45).

On this particular day, Jesus doesn’t even have to leave home to encounter a huge crowd. The house is packed with people “so many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door” (Mark 2:2).

Four men and their paralyzed friend show up and there is no way they can get to Jesus. They come up with a clever solution to their problem by going up on the roof and digging a hole in the roof large enough to lower the man down on a mat to the feet of Jesus!

This determination is an expression of their faith in Jesus, which he immediately recognizes. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven'” (Mark 2:5).

The stubborn disbelief of the religious leaders.
Also present were “some teachers of the law” (Mark 2:6). When they hear Jesus’ pronouncement of forgiveness, they are dumbfounded and incensed. “He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).

These men are both right and wrong. They are correct in saying that only God can forgive sins. But they are incorrect to say that Jesus is guilty of blasphemy. They realize that Jesus is claiming the authority of God and are determined to reject this claim. The sad irony here is their stubborn refusal to accept the obvious by both forgiving sin and healing the paralytic, Jesus demonstrates his deity.

The divine authority of Jesus to forgive sin.
Yes, it is certainly true that only God can forgive sins. And since Jesus is God, he has the authority to do just that. The deity of Jesus Christ is the clear teaching of Scripture (see John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-20 and Hebrews 1:3) and the four gospels are filled with evidence to support this truth. Jesus himself referred to his divine nature on many occasions, and this is the main reason he was hated by the Jewish religious establishment (see John 8:58-59).

The five men came to Jesus for physical healing, and his first order of business was to provide the spiritual healing of forgiveness. Jesus offers forgiveness of sins to all who come to him in faith, believing that he is God and therefore the only one who can forgive.

Who do you identify with in this story? The five men of faith, or the disbelieving Bible teachers?

In Mark 2:1-12 we read the account of Jesus’ miraculous healing of a paralytic. This story is fascinating on at least three levels.

The faith-filled determination of the paralytic and his four friends.
Just getting the paralyzed man to Jesus was a quite a feat, for Jesus had recently returned to Capernaum, his ministry headquarters in Galilee, after a preaching tour throughout the region (see Mark 1:39).

When Jesus comes home to Capernaum he is mobbed by the crowds eager to benefit from his supernatural healing ability. And the fact that he had healed a leper gave people all the more reason to flock to him (see Mark 1:40-45).

On this particular day, Jesus doesn’t even have to leave home to encounter a huge crowd. The house is packed with people “so many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door” (Mark 2:2).

Four men and their paralyzed friend show up and there is no way they can get to Jesus. They come up with a clever solution to their problem by going up on the roof and digging a hole in the roof large enough to lower the man down on a mat to the feet of Jesus!

This determination is an expression of their faith in Jesus, which he immediately recognizes. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven'” (Mark 2:5).

The stubborn disbelief of the religious leaders.
Also present were “some teachers of the law” (Mark 2:6). When they hear Jesus’ pronouncement of forgiveness, they are dumbfounded and incensed. “He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).

These men are both right and wrong. They are correct in saying that only God can forgive sins. But they are incorrect to say that Jesus is guilty of blasphemy. They realize that Jesus is claiming the authority of God and are determined to reject this claim. The sad irony here is their stubborn refusal to accept the obvious by both forgiving sin and healing the paralytic, Jesus demonstrates his deity.

The divine authority of Jesus to forgive sin.
Yes, it is certainly true that only God can forgive sins. And since Jesus is God, he has the authority to do just that. The deity of Jesus Christ is the clear teaching of Scripture (see John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-20 and Hebrews 1:3) and the four gospels are filled with evidence to support this truth. Jesus himself referred to his divine nature on many occasions, and this is the main reason he was hated by the Jewish religious establishment (see John 8:58-59).

The five men came to Jesus for physical healing, and his first order of business was to provide the spiritual healing of forgiveness. Jesus offers forgiveness of sins to all who come to him in faith, believing that he is God and therefore the only one who can forgive.

Who do you identify with in this story? The five men of faith, or the disbelieving Bible teachers?

Looking for more Bible reading tips?

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Brought to you by best-selling author Wayne Davies . . . dedicated to helping you read, study and understand the Bible.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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