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Daily Bible Readings

Convincing and Impossible, Jesus Leads us To Himself

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

[5] And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” [6] Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, [7] “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” [8] And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? [9] Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? [10] But 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, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” [12] And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 

Mark 2:5–12 ESV Read More

If Jesus would have just healed this man, all of the people would still be totally amazed. A paralyzed man, healed at Jesus’ command! It’s a miracle! Jesus is extraordinary! 

But Jesus isn’t just extraordinary, He is the anointed Son of God. He could see through the paralyzed man and He could see through His critics to see what the real problem was in that house that day: SIN. With a word, Jesus gave that guy new life and new hope on the inside. Any thought that he ever had that led him to believe that he was paralyzed as punishment from God was taken away. All of the times he asked God “What did I do to deserve this?” were calmed when Jesus told him his sins were forgiven. 

But Jesus also said that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Out of the overflow of an internal change, a life is going to be lived. It was impossible to heal a paralyzed man. Even a broken arm takes weeks to strengthen up again, but Jesus was going to heal this man completely on the spot. 

The statement “only God can forgive sin” was a genuine conflict for the scribes. Commandment number one of the Ten Commandments is to not have any other Gods except for YHWH, and here is a guy saying that He is equal to God. Not only is it impossible to heal a paralyzed man, but it’s also impossible for a man to be equal to God. It’s impossible for sins to be forgiven any way except by a temple sacrifice, or by God’s command. 

All of this is true. The only way a man could forgive sins would be if He were equal to God. The only way a man could heal a paralyzed man on the spot and make him walk would be if He were as powerful as God. If Jesus were to say flat out “I am God,” that would set off an immediate response of shouting “blasphemy” and Jesus would be stoned. 

All at the same time, Jesus shows that God is a god of compassion and mercy and that He Himself is God. Without hitting the wonderers over the head with truth and commanding their allegiance, He works in a way to lead them to believe by their own reason. He works a miracle with an explanation to help them think through in their own way the logical conclusion: Jesus is equal to God. 

Jesus’ love and compassion towards our doubts is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As we read and pray through Mark, look at all of the ways Jesus is patient. He said He wouldn’t snuff out a smoldering wick or bend a bruised reed. He doesn’t come across as a high-pressure salesman. Jesus wants to lead us, not command us. Look for ways that He is leading you today by His love and compassion. He’s right there doing the impossible just like He was years ago. 

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Tags: apologetics, faith, forgiveness, miracle, reason, salvation