“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man,
‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ ”
Mark 2:5 (NIV)
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” Mark 2:6-7 (NIV)
Jesus was not one of the quiet people who listened a lot and spoke seldom. Our Lord was a marvellous teacher (Luke 2:36-52; Matthew 7:28-29) who amazed the people with His doctrine and authority from his youth on up.
Yet there were some things about His behaviour that occasionally confused and even made some people hostile toward Him. For example He would say to people that He forgave them their sins and that troubled the Jewish teachers (see also Luke 7:49).
In our reading today we see what some of the teachers of the law were thinking. They were right about Who can forgive sins. Only God can forgive sins is the truth they had firmly fixed in their minds. All through the Old Testament we read that God (Jehovah) is the One Who forgives us our sins.
So what can we make of Jesus when He tells people He forgives sins. This is what God alone can do. The Jews were also right to think that anyone who takes the work of God and pretends to do it themselves is blaspheming. So is Jesus God? He certainly acted as though He was God. The teachers were right on two counts but were wrong on the third and most important matter of Jesus being God. That was their fatal error.
Jesus is the God Who made us and all things. It is to Him that all people owe their allegiance, their worship, their loyalty. When you truly understand that Jesus is God, there are amazing implications.
As God, Jesus has all authority to care for His people and supply every need to live a holy and acceptable life in this world. When you read of His infinite compassion toward the needy (read Luke 7) your faith is fed to trust Him for your own needs.
You have come in repentance and faith to Jesus and were forgiven your sins. You believe He rose from the dead for you—now recognize His limitless power and love is being used to guide you all the way to heaven itself. Cease your doubting and enter the joy of full conviction that He Who died and rose from the dead will not fail to bring you through all your difficulties and keep you safe for eternity.