THE SON OF MAN
Lord God, I praise You for burdens lifted, sins forgiven, and hope restored. I rejoice to be with You now.
Read Mark 2:1–12
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
2 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPonder on 1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins...’
Back in Capernaum, where Jesus had demonstrated His authority to preach and to heal, crowds gather to hear Him (1,2). The sermon is interrupted as a man is lowered into the house through a hole in the ceiling. So confident are his friends of Jesus’ authority to heal that they go to great lengths to bring this sick man to Jesus.
Instead of healing the man, surprisingly, Jesus tells him his sins are forgiven (5). This is everyone’s greatest need, whatever their other difficulties. Sometimes it is in times of illness that people begin to ask the big questions about life, have regrets about past actions, and seek forgiveness. This not only surprises everyone, but it also challenges the authority of the religious leaders (6,7). Forgiveness is God’s prerogative (7), so Jesus is making a big claim: healing the man of his paralysis is straightforward compared to forgiving sin (9,10)!
For the first time in Mark, Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man. This must have reminded people of the Messianic figure in Daniel (Daniel 7:13,14). Jesus has authority to forgive and to heal because He has come from heaven to inaugurate the kingdom of God (10).
Bring to Jesus those people for whom you have concerns, as the friends of the paralyzed man laid him before Jesus. Can you also bring Jesus to those friends?
All-knowing God, You see beyond the surface of my personality, right down to the hidden roots. Thank You for healing and cleansing me right down to the depths.
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