Called in Authority

Mark 2:1-12

SS Lesson for 01/17/2021


Devotional Scripture: John 5:20-27

Lesson Background and Key Verse

Background from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

The Gospel of Mark is a book of action. After an introduction of only three verses, the record begins with “John the Baptist appeared…preaching” (Mark 1:4). Jesus continued to be on the move (1:9, 12, 14). While the other three Gospels often slow down the action, Mark moves right along with his condensed style. Mark 2:1-12, today’s text, is parallel to quite similar accounts in Matthew 9:1-8 and Luke 5:17-26. Although the chronological order of events varies in the three synoptic Gospels, all three locate this scene in Capernaum during Jesus’ initial ministry in Galilee. According to the passage just prior, a man with leprosy had come to Jesus and pled with Him to be made “clean” (Mark 1:40-45; also Luke 5:12-15). Jesus healed the man but told him not to tell others about it. Jesus may not have wanted to ignite the popular but erroneous hope that a miracle-working Messiah had come to deliver the Jews from Roman oppression. But the man “Began to talk freely. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere” (Mark 1:45). That shock wave continued into today’s passage.


Key Verse: Mark 2:9

9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'?


Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

2:1-2. A few days later when Jesus returned to Capernaum (cf. 1:21), it was reported that He was at home (probably Peter’s house; cf. 1:29). In the freedom of Jewish custom many uninvited people crowded into the house and around the door, thus preventing access. Jesus was speaking (imperf., elalei) the Word (cf. 1:14-15; 4:14, 33) to them.

2:3-4. Four men brought a paralytic (paralyzed man) on a mat (poor man’s “bed,” kjv), hoping to get him to Jesus. But they could not... because of the crowd. Like many Palestinian dwellings, this house probably had an outside stairway leading to a flat roof. So the men went onto the roof. After digging through it (a composite of grass, clay, clay tiles, and laths), they made an opening... above Jesus and lowered the paralyzed man before Him (probably using fishing ropes that lay at hand).

2:5. Jesus viewed the determined effort of the four as visible evidence of their faith in His power to heal this man. He did not rebuke this interruption to His teaching but unexpectedly told the paralytic, Son (an affectionate term), your sins are forgiven. In the Old Testament disease and death were viewed as the consequences of man’s sinful condition, and healing was predicated on God’s forgiveness (e.g., 2 Chron. 7:14; Pss. 41:4; 103:3; 147:3; Isa. 19:22; 38:16-17; Jer. 3:22; Hosea 14:4). This does not mean there is a corresponding sin for each occurrence of sickness (cf. Luke 13:1-5; John 9:1-3). Jesus simply showed that this man’s physical condition had a basic spiritual cause.

2:6-7. The teachers of the Law (lit., “scribes”; cf. 1:22; Luke 5:17) who were present were offended by Jesus’ veiled pronouncement. Only God can forgive sins (cf. Ex. 34:6-9; Pss. 103:3; 130:4; Isa. 43:25; 44:22; 48:11; Dan. 9:9). In the Old Testament forgiveness of sins was never attributed to the Messiah. The scribes regarded such talk by this fellow (contemptuous tone) as a pretentious affront to God’s power and authority, blasphemy against God, a serious offense punishable by death from stoning (Lev. 24:15-16). In fact such a charge became the basis for a formal condemnation later (cf. Mark 14:61-64).

2:8-9. Immediately (euthys; cf. 1:10) Jesus perceived in His spirit (inwardly; cf. 14:38) their hostile thoughts and He confronted them directly with pointed counterquestions (a rhetorical device in Rabbinic debate; cf. 3:4; 11:30; 12:37). The scribes expected a physical healing, but Jesus pronounced the man’s sins... forgiven. They probably thought that a pronouncement of forgiveness was easier than one of healing because healing was visible and immediately verifiable.

2:10. This verse presents an interpretive problem due to the awkward change of addressee in the verse’s middle. Jesus seemed to be addressing the scribes (v. 10a) but there is an abrupt break in the verse after which He addressed the paralytic. Another problem in light of the overall emphasis of Mark is the public use of the title Son of Man by Jesus in the presence of unbelieving hearers so early in His ministry (cf. 9:9; 10:33). Apart from 2:10 and 28, this title does not occur in Mark’s account until after Peter’s confession (8:29). After that it occurs 12 times and is crucial to Jesus’ self-disclosure to His disciples (cf. 8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31; 10:33, 45; 13:26; 14:21 [twice], 41, 62; see 8:31). In light of these difficulties 2:10a is probably a parenthetical, editorial comment by Mark (cf. similarly, vv. 15c, 28; 7:3-4, 19; 13:14). He inserted it into the narrative to explain the significance of this event for his readers: that Jesus as the risen Son of Man has authority (exousian, the right and power) on earth to forgive sins, something the scribes did not fully recognize. Only here in the Gospels is the forgiveness of sins attributed to the Son of Man. This view contributes to the literary unity of the passage: forgiveness is declared (2:5), questioned (vv. 6-9), validated (v. 11), and recognized (v. 12). The initial words in verse 10, But that you may know, could thus be translated, “Now you (Mark’s readers) should know that....” The last clause signals the end of Mark’s comment and a return to the incident itself.

2:11-12. Jesus commanded the paralytic to get up (a test of his faith), take his mat, and go home (demand of obedience). The man was enabled to do this immediately (euthys; cf. 1:10) in full view of them all, including Jesus’ critics. They were forced to recognize that the man had received God’s forgiveness. This showed the character of salvation Jesus brought, namely, healing whole persons. Everyone (probably including the scribes) was amazed (existasthai, lit., “out of their minds”; cf. 3:21; 5:42; 6:51) and praised (ascribed glory to) God because of Jesus’ display of supernatural power.


Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Authority to Heal the Sick (Mark 2:1-4)


1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.

2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.


Healing that was sought (1-2)

Sought through turning from wicked ways (2 Chron 7:14)

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Sought because God heals physically (Matt 14:14)

14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Sought because God heals spiritually (Isa 53:5)

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Sought because Jesus healings proves His Divinity (Matt 11:2-5)

2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" 4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.

Sought because of healing from Jesus' wounds and stripes (1 Peter 2:24)

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Sought because of healing through the name of Jesus (Acts 4:7-10)

7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.


Healing achieved through help of others (3-4)

Help of others through their faith (Luke 5:18-20)

18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

Help of others because of authority and care (Matt 8:6-8)

6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." 7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." 8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

Help of others through begging Jesus for healing (Mark 8:22)

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.

Help of others through bringing to Jesus (Acts 5:16)

16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.


Authority to Forgive Sins (Mark 2:5-9)


5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."

6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,

7 "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?

9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'?


Forgiveness through faith (5)

Faith because one must believe in God before he can pray for forgiveness (Heb 11:6)

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Faith because it is God's faithfulness that actually causes forgiveness (1 John 1:9)

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Faith because of sincerity (Acts 14:9)

9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed

Faith because of prayer offered for healing (James 5:15)

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.


Forgiveness because Jesus is God (6-7)

Jesus is God because He says so (John 10:30)

30 I and the Father are one."

Jesus is God because He is the Son of God (Matt 26:63-65)

63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Jesus is God and therefore He can forgive (Ps 130:3-4)

3 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Jesus is God and therefore He can blot out sins (Isa 43:25)

25 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Jesus is God and therefore He is merciful and forgiving (Dan 9:9)

9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

Jesus is God and therefore He pardon and forgive (Mic 7:18)

18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.


Forgiveness regardless of doubt (8-9)

Regardless of doubt because God helps in our unbelief (Mark 9:22-24)

22 "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." 23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." 24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Regardless of doubt because it not our faith, but God’s power (Matt 17:20)

20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Regardless of doubt because Jesus promised it (Matt 21:22)

22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

Regardless of doubt because Jesus increases our faith (Luke 17:3-6)

5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"


Authority through Power (Mark 2:10-12)


10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" — He said to the paralytic,

11 "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"


Power through His Word (10-11)

Powerful because it is useful to equip for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Powerful because it is trustworthy and true (2 Peter 3:5-7)

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Powerful because it has the power of God in it (Rom 1:16-17)

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Powerful because it is the sword of the Holy Spirit (Eph 6:17)

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Powerful because it is living and enduring (1 Peter 1:23)

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.


Power that glorifies God (12)

God's word glorifies through opening door (1 Cor 16:9)

9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

God's word glorifies through providing reliance on God (2 Cor 1:8-11)

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

God's word glorifies through providing strength to proclaim it (2 Tim 4:17-18)

17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

God's word glorifies through providing transformation (1 Peter 1:23)

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

God's word glorifies through providing righteousness from God (Rom 1:16-17)

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."


Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Commentary Thoughts from Allen Carr


A. Anyone can draw a crowd! Wrestlers, celebrities, musicians and preachers can all draw crowds. It’s what you do with that crowd that makes the difference.

      Jesus could have used this opportunity to increase His celebrity in Capernaum. He could have performed a few miracles and the people would have been eating out of His hands. After all, that is probably why they came. They came to see the Lord work some more miracles. They came to see Him do the extraordinary. Imagine their surprise and disappointment when Jesus began to preach to them! (Ill. Some folks think a service that includes preaching is a routine, boring service. They exalt the times when there is no preaching. Shame on us for our shallowness!)

B.  It is clear to me that to Jesus, the message was far more important that the miracles. We do not know what the Lord preached that day, but we can safely say that He probably reached back into the Old Testament and preached about the same things He had preached the first time He was in town, Mark 1:14. He probably preached about the Kingdom of God, the power of God and the salvation of God, Luke 4:18-19. Surely, Jesus preached the central message of the Bible: salvation by faith through grace!

C.  Preaching was central to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. And, the same should be true for the church! I love good singing; I love testimony meetings; I love special services; but nothing can take the place of preaching!

      Preaching is God’s chosen method for reaching into the hearts of the lost with the Gospel of grace, Rom. 10:13-15; 1 Cor. 1:21. Nothing should ever be allowed to crowd out the message!

      (Ill. We should pray that our church will stay focused on the message. It would be easy to slack up and back off so that we could entice people to come to our church. The primary business of this church is not to fill our pews or our bank accounts. Our primary business is the proclamation of our Lord’s message. That is what we are to be about! That is our business and it is to be our only business! Thank God for an old-fashioned, Bible-believing church where preaching is still the centerpiece of every service!)



A.  Right in the middle of this preaching service, something spectacular happens. Four men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They believe that if they can get this man to Jesus, then Jesus can heal his body. When they arrive at the house, the crowd is so large that they cannot get into the house through the door.

      Now, houses in that day were usually constructed with flat roofs. A set of stairs on the side of the house allowed access to the roof, which was used much like we use a deck in our day. These roofs were usually made by laying timbers across the top of the house. These timbers were then covered by a layer of branches. This was covered by a layer of clay tiles, and finally, a thick layer of mud was placed on the very top. This was rolled and pressed until it was very hard and rain proof.

      So, here is the humorous scene, Jesus is preaching in the house, these four men carry their friend up the stair case onto the roof of the house. Once there, they begin to dig through the roof, until they have made an opening large enough to lower their friend into the house.

      Can you imagine the scene in the house? As Jesus preaches, the sound of digging is heard overhead. After a short time, dirt and wood begin to fall on the crowd assembled below. Then, blue sky breaks through the darkness and a man is lowered into the room.

      I wonder what Peter is thinking. He probably didn’t like the thought of seeing His house torn up. He may have wondered if his homeowners insurance would cover the costs of repair. But, Peter couldn’t stop it! The same crowd that kept the four men and the paralyzed man out of the house kept Peter in the house!

      I wonder what Jesus thought. I imagine there is a smile on His face as He realizes what is happening. I am sure that He is amused by the whole thing.

I wonder what the crowd thought. Surely, this had never happened in a worship service before! They were no doubt amazed at what was taking place.

 (Ill. It is always a blessing when the Lord invades our order of worship and takes over the service! I do not understand how He moves, but I am glad that He does! Something wonderful always takes place when Jesus is in the house! It makes all the difference when He is present in a service.)

 (Ill. Let me say a word about these four men who brought their friend to Jesus. These men were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend to the Lord.

      They dared to do what was difficult. It was not easy to carry that man up on the roof. It was a difficult task. The Bible says that “Jesus saw their faith”. Faith is something that works in the heart and then it works its way to the outside, James 2:18; Eph. 2:10. A faith that won’t put you to work for Jesus probably won’t take you to Heaven either!

      They dared to do the unusual. They were will to think outside the box! For them, it was not business as usual, it took ingenuity to think of breaking up the roof to get that man to Jesus!

      They dared to do the costly. They might have had to pay for the cost of the repairs to Peter’s roof.

      These men were willing to do whatever it took to bring that man to the Lord. That same heart needs to beat within us! As long as it is biblical, we should shy away from nothing to bring people to Jesus!)

 B.  The paralyzed man is lowered into the service. Jesus witnesses the extent and depth of their faith in Him and His ability. Then, Jesus does something amazing! He says, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

      Wait a minute! This man was brought to Jesus for healing and Jesus deals with his sins. Why?

      It seems clear that this man was paralyzed because of some spiritual problem in his life. Doctors have determined that over 50% of all our illnesses are the result of emotional problems! This man was sick because of sin.

      Surely, this man, the four who brought him and the crowd thought that his greatest problem was the paralysis. But, Jesus knew the truth! Sin was his greatest problem and Jesus dealt with it first! By the way, sin is our greatest problem too! All too often we are focused on the physical and we never give any thought to the spiritual. We spend all our time trying to be healthy, wealthy and wise and we never stop to think about where we stand in the eyes of the Lord.

      The greatest need in your life right now is not a physical need! It doesn’t’ matter what you are facing, your greatest need has always been, and will always be, spiritual! And, the only place you will find help in Jesus Christ!

C.  Let’s examine the Lord’s words to this man in detail for a moment. Jesus said “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” That man didn’t realize the full impact of what Jesus was saying to him, but those were the greatest words he had ever heard!

·         Son – The word translated “son” is the same word that is often translated “child”. It is a word that conveys the idea of tenderness. When Jesus spoke to this man He spoke to Him tenderly and He spoke to him as a son. This is a word that speaks of family!

      That is what happens when a lost sinner meets the Master. That lost one, like the prodigal of Luke 15, is taken in by the Father. That one who was lost is dressed in the Father’s garments; receives the ring of reconciliation; the shoes of a son and takes his seat at the table as a member of the family. Just like Mephibosheth, 2 Sam. 9, the lost one is treated like a son.

      Hallelujah, if you are saved, you are a child of God, 1 John 1:3! You are His child now!

·         Forgiven – This word implies that the man’s guilt, shame and sin has been taken away! The first word brought him into the family; the second brought him into fellowship!

      It is sin, in all of its ugliness and horror that stands between the sinner and God, Isa. 59:2. But, when a lost person comes to Jesus for salvation, all their sins are instantly and eternally forgiven, Psa. 103:12; 1 John 1:7. They are brought into perfect fellowship with the Heavenly Father! What a truth! What a blessing!

D.  Thank God that our Savior has the power to forgive our sin, erase our past and do away with our guilt. Have you experienced His forgiving power? Have you ever heard Him call you “son”?



(Ill. Jesus has just given this poor paralyzed man the greatest gift the world has ever known: forgiveness and acceptance. Do you think the man and his friends were disappointed? Do you think they expected more? Well, they were not the only ones who were surprised by what Jesus had done.)

A.  v. 6-7 The Criticism – Sitting there in the house that day were some scribes. These men had, no doubt, been sent to check up on this Jesus of Nazareth. The scribes were writers, as the name implies. These men were given the duty of copying the Scriptures. As they copied they became very familiar with the biblical texts. They eventually became scholars and authorities in the text. By Jesus’ time, the scribes and their interpretation of the Law had become more important than the Law itself.

            When these religious men heard Jesus forgive the crippled man’s sins, they could not believe their ears! They knew that only God could forgive sins. They understood the words of Jesus as a claim to be God! When they heard this, they immediately accused Him of blaspheme. Of course, like most legalists and hypocrites, they were cowards and they didn’t have the courage to come right out and accuse Jesus openly.

            This was the first encounter Jesus had with the religious elite of His day, but it would not be the last. In fact, the religious leaders of Israel would be instrumental in having Jesus crucified.

B.  v. 8-9  The Confrontation – Jesus, being God, knew what they were thinking in their hearts. He immediately offers them a challenge.

      His words are worth considering. Jesus said, “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?” Either of those statements is easy to make, but only one can be proved!

      Anyone can say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee” but the real test is for the crippled man to “Rise up and walk”. But, only God possesses the ability to make either happen. Jesus is setting up a test to prove that He is the Messiah.

C.  v. 10-12a  The Confirmation – In these verses, Jesus uses the physical to prove the spiritual. As I said, the forgiveness of sin cannot be proven, but the physical healing is easy to prove. When Jesus commanded the man to, “arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house”, He was proving that He was Who He claimed to be.

      This was the acid test! If Jesus gave the command and the paralytic just continued to lie there, then Jesus would be proven to be a fraud. But, if the man got up, as he did, it would prove that Jesus possessed the power to heal. A power, by the way, that was one of the calling cards of the Messiah, “4.) Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5.) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6.) Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert,Isa. 35:4-6.

 (Ill. By healing this man, Jesus proved that He was worthy of faith! He was proving that He was the Messiah. He was proving that He was God in the flesh.

      Notice His words in verse 10, “the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins”. The words “power on earth” are very interesting. I think they can be taken two ways.

      1.)  Jesus is saying that He had the power, while He was here on earth, to forgive sins. He proved this several times as He forgave those who came to Him. I praise His name that He possesses that power! If you need forgiveness today, you can come to the Lord and find the complete forgiveness you need, John 6:37; Col. 2:13.

2.)  Jesus is saying that the place to receive forgiveness is here on earth! It will be too late to be forgiven when this life is over. If you expect to met the Lord in Heaven and have Him weigh your good against your bad and let you into Heaven that way, you are going to be sadly disappointed. If you need to be salvation, the time to come to Jesus is now. If you need forgiveness, the time to come to Jesus is now.

      When you leave this world in death, it will be too late to make any preparations for eternity! There will be no second chances and no more opportunities! You will have to deal with your sin problem (Ill. Rom. 3:10-23) in this world, or you will die and go to Hell!

Conc: So, Jesus heals the man and the paralyzed man gets up, picks up his mat, elbows his way through the crowd and leaves! He simply gets up and walks away!

      His heart was healed first then his flesh followed. That is the way things go! When the Lord forgives a person’s sins, that person becomes a “new creature”, 2 Cor. 5:17. Their insides are changed and their walk is rearranged! What the Lord does in the heart always shows up on the outside. Remember, genuine faith is something that can be seen by others!

      When the crowds see this miracle, they begin to praise the Lord. They are amazed by what they have seen with their eyes. But, they have completely missed the point.

      The people are so caught up with what their eyes have seen that they have completely forgotten the words He preached. Again, the people chose the miracle over the message!

      What about you friend? Are you still waiting on the miracle? Are you even listening to the message? My wife’s grandfather was saved when he was 84 years old. All the years prior to his salvation, he was waiting on the miracle. He always said that when God was ready to save him He would come to him like He came to Paul on the road to Damascus. He was waiting on the miracle.

      Well, one day, the Lord came to him. It wasn’t a “Damascus Road” experience, but he got saved. A month later, he died. He almost missed it all by waiting on the miracle. But, when he came to the place where he simply received the message, he was saved.

      What about you? Has the Lord spoken to your heart today? If He has, I invite you to do whatever it is that He wants you to do. Jesus is in the house today, let’s mind Him.

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Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Today’s lesson reminds us of the spiritual components involved in genuine and integrated health and healing. Whether Jesus diagnosed this man’s paralysis as being a result of sin, the man certainly couldn’t be made whole without spiritual healing. No significant and permanent healing can occur apart from reconciliation with God. As we have seen, God alone forgives sins. And God alone is the source of healing. Jesus still has the power and authority to provide healing by bringing release from the crippling burden of sin. As God in the flesh, Jesus Christ was the incarnation of the profound statement recorded in Exodus 15:26: “I am the Lord, who heals you.” This is not always seen in physical healing of maladies in this current life on earth; but it will absolutely be seen in the resurrection bodies that grow from the seed of our present bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-54). This story also reminds us of how much we need our fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Although we probably won’t need them to carry us on a stretcher to church or a prayer meeting, we do need to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). And there are times when we need to heed and practice the instruction of James 5:16: “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” As you reflect on Mark 2:1-12 and consider how it applies to your life, write a prayer that brings before the Lord your various needs. Lay out your physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, and material needs, and your questions about them. Call on the absolute authority of Jesus Christ to make you whole so that you can better glorify, honor, and serve him.


Concluding Thoughts from the Echoes Commentary

Deeper - Throughout the Gospels, the writers describe the multitudes clamoring after Jesus to heal the sick and cast] out demons. However, God sent His Son and gave Him the ability to do much more. He also probed deeper, addressing people's spiritual and emotional needs as well.


Healing - Prior to this incident with the person with paralysis, Jesus had dramatically released a man possessed by a demon (Mark 1:28). From this point on, wherever He went a multitude immediately gathered. He attempted to privately travel to Capernaum and probably stayed in Peter's home. News of His arrival spread like wildfire throughout the area, and the people came in droves. The doorway, courtyard, and the front of the house were overrun with people. Some determined men, despite the mob, devised a creative way to get a paralytic man to Jesus. They climbed up on the roof, made a hole in it, and let the paralyzed man down on a pallet or mat.


Forgiving Sin - Jesus recognized their faith in their extraordinary efforts. With great compassion, He tenderly called the sick person "son." Then the Master further assured him, "Your sins are forgiven." He knew forgiveness of sins was a more profound need than physical healing. Immediately, the Jewish leaders became indignant. Forgiving sins? Only God can forgive sins.


Forgiveness and Healing - With His divine insight, Jesus knew what the religious leaders were thinking. He asked them, "Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?" (Mark 2:9). Once again, Jesus made a bold claim: God has power to forgive sins, and now He was doing the same here on earth. Then, He turned to the paralytic on the mat and said to take up his bed and walk. Immediately the previously afflicted man followed Jesus' instructions. The people were amazed. Not only did this Man have healing powers, but He also could forgive sins.


Wholeness - When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes into that person's life to help the believer become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It's the first step in the process of becoming whole. The old self is tainted by sin and in need of healing and restoration. Daily, the Holy Spirit does His transforming, renewing work, making the surrendering individual more like Christ, making them whole (2 Cor. 3:18)