If you would like to read along with us finishing the entire Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll be glad to email a copy of the plan back to you in PDF format.
There are several lessons worthy of our attention in this passage, but it is the display of Jesus’ authority to forgive sins I’d like us to consider today.
The entire passage is meant to bring out this one all-important concept: That Jesus has the authority to forgive sins against God.
Mark wants to be sure we do not miss this point.
And we need to really get this Beloved: Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, is based both upon His divinity, and upon what He is willing to pay so that our sins might be expiated.
In other words, it is the one who is willing to suffer the loss – who alone can forgive the debt.
It is only The Christ who can suffer the loss of His own life in bearing the wrath of God against human sin who can rightly forgive it then. This is His astounding and unique status.
If I were to walk up and punch you in the nose, it would do no good for others to say they forgave me for the act: I need YOUR forgiveness, not theirs.
And it is the same with God. Only He can forgive the transgressions we have committed against Him.
Sin is never simply an issue of breaking God’s Law – we do not sin in the abstract. Sin always carries the reality of a personal affront against the God who created us in His image for His purposes. A violation of His rights over us.
We need His forgiveness because all sin is ultimately against Him – personally.
So we note that Jesus’ healing of the man is expressly meant to give proof of His authority to forgive sins. To forgive as the One offended. To forgive as who He is – God.
And this is His real power – His authority.
God is omnipotent because He is supremely omni-authoritative. His power rests not in some external ability – but in the absolute power of His will.
What can be done in the universe depends solely upon this – should He will it. It takes nothing more. And nothing can stand against it.
God has all the rights of His deity.
He has authority over all things.
And so it is He can forgive every sin, no matter how grave, heinous, vile or deeply entrenched in the soul.
This is the Jesus we come to for our salvation.
No one lesser could suffice.
Let that soak into your soul today.
God bless, and God willing, we’ll visit again tomorrow.