February 15, 2015
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
Mark 2: 1-12
“Some men came, bring to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven. ‘ ” (Mark 2: 3-5)
Jesus’ response to the friends’ request shocked everyone because he first offered forgiveness of sins to this paralytic. The scribes were especially offended because they believed that only God, not a man, could forgive sins. (Mark 2: 6-8)
To prove that He was God, Jesus used the miracle of healing the physical body of this paralytic. This would show everyone present that His authority was real, giving Him the power to forgive sins. (Mark 2: 8-12
Three Truths About Where this Story Intersects with Our Story:
- Jesus has authority to forgive our sins.
How bold and outrageous Jesus’ words really are – forgiving another’s sins! Sins are any failure to be or do what God wants us to be or do. It is something we do against God, and only God is qualified to forgive sin.
For our part, we need to receive forgiveness and walk in it with Jesus’ full authority. We are the ones who choose to believe in our healing and walk confidently in our own forgiveness by God. The paralytic did not stay lying on his pallet.
Like the paralytic man, our greatest problem is sin.
The paralytic man’s friends asked only for healing; Jesus gave him first forgiveness of sins. Jesus knew that the foundation of His kingdom and our basic, core need as people is forgiveness of our sins. Our sinful decisions have caused many of the social and physical problems of this world. Jesus offers a real solution to dealing with sin: His forgiveness.
Perhaps, like the friends (with “their faith”) of the paralytic (with “your sins”), if we keep bringing others to Jesus, He will meet their most basic needs as well.
Mark 2:5 encourages us that there are times when our faith can make a real difference in the lives of our friends and loved ones. Jesus delights in our persevering faith and prayer for others.
Jesus Christ, through the Cross, has the authority to forgive every sin we have ever committed by thought or deed. As believers, we need daily to make the choice to turn to Him, and walk more in His forgiveness.