Mark 2 … Consider Him Who Forgives Sins

Originally posted: 06/30/2019

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” (2:5-7).

This is an excellent question; who but God alone can forgive sins?

Consider Him Who Forgives Sins

  • Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this,” (2:8-12).
    • Why did the scribes not ask any more questions: for example, who but God alone can read the thoughts of men’s hearts; who but God alone can heal a paralytic with just a word; and who but God alone would verify His ability to forgive sins with a miraculous event in the sight of everyone?
    • This Man, the Son of Man, claimed authority on earth to forgive sins, and had He been unable to demonstrate His authority through healing the paralytic, it would have been blasphemy. But to the amazement of all, the paralytic walked and God was glorified.
  • Who but God alone can forgive sins? The answer was clear in His miraculous healing of the paralytic; Jesus is God Who Forgives Sins.
  • And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him, (2:15).
    • Is it any wonder the sinners followed Him? He had proven His authority to forgive sins when He healed the paralytic. The true wonder is seen in His grace as He allowed Himself to be surrounded with sinners such as these.
  • When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners,” (2:16-17).
    • There was no false pretense in these sinners and tax collectors. We do not read an account of them defending themselves, nor did Jesus rise up to their defense. Rather Jesus confirmed their condition and commended them as the ones who would experience the healing of the Great Physician; for only in recognizing the disease of sin running rampant in the heart, will one seek the only prescribed treatment, Him Who Forgives Sin.
  • “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins,” (2:21-22).
    • He Who Forgives Sin was doing something new, instituting a forgiveness received by faith alone without man’s contribution to what He alone would do. This new work would require vessels made new by faith to receive Him Who Forgives Sins.

How do we respond to Him Who Forgives Sin?

  • We begin by acknowledging Jesus as God and our only means of salvation and forgiveness of sin.
    • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
    • And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved, (Acts 4:12).
    • His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, (Colossians 1:13-14).
  • In humility we come to Him Who Forgives Sin. When we humble ourselves before God we acknowledge and mourn our sin, declaring our need for His great grace to bring forgiveness, healing and the joy of His presence.
    • But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you, (James 4:6-10).
  • Like the men who clawed their way to Jesus for the sake of their friend, let us seek to bring others to Him Who Forgives Sins through sharing the Gospel and our prayers.
    • Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest,” (Matthew 9:37-38).
    • And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” (Mark 16:15).
    • Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation, (Romans 10:1).
  • In faith we trust the new work He alone is able to do; we place our faith in Him Who Forgives Sins and makes all things new.
    • Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Let’s Grow Together!

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