“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!” Mark 2.8-12
As I read this passage a few ideas come to mind. First, Jesus was forgiving sin even before he went to the cross. We see it here when he says to the Jewish leaders, “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” My question is this – how did he do this before he became the atoning sacrifice for our sins? If Jesus could forgive sins for this man, why did he have to die? (This is a question for someone way smarter than me!)
Second, Jesus knew things. What I mean is that he could read their minds. In v. 8 Mark says, “Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts.” And after this he even asked them “Why are you thinking these things?” Now I can sometime guess what other might be thinking but it’s only a guess. How crazy it would be to actually know what someone is thinking and then to tell that to them?
Lastly, Jesus gave all glory to his Father. When at the end of this interaction and everyone was amazed and praising God, Jesus did not correct them. He allowed (and perhaps encouraged) the crowds to praise God for what he had done.
Which leads me to the authority of Jesus. He who can forgive sins, heal the broken, read minds and doesn’t need to receive praise certainly has authority. He who is the Son of Man (and the Son of God) knows his place in this world and he walked with confidence and trust that his Father was walking with him.
Aren’t you glad we have a God who is for us, has authority to forgive our sins, bring healing to our lives and even knows what we are thinking before we think it? And the greatest part is he loves us ANYWAY? This is what amazes me — that God who knows us completely still loves us and wants to be in a daily, active, purposeful relationship.
There is nothing that Jesus can not do. This passage gives evidence that Jesus can heal the body and the spirit. He can heal our brokenness and our hearts. He can save our souls from the depths of despair and from the gates of hell and brings us into new life before the Father.
Why not join me in recommitting our lives to him now? Let’s submit to the One who not only knows our hearts but knows what best for our lives.
“O Lord God you are so faithful. As I continue my Sabbath in Colorado, I see your goodness. I feel your power and your presence. I believe that you love me and that you are guiding my steps. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your grace. Help me be the person you have called and created me to be. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen