Knowing Jesus through the gospels
By Ysrael De la Cruz
We have been journeying through the gospel of Mark; today is our 3rd Sunday in our journey. It is imperative that we, the followers of Jesus get to know him well, so that we can make him known to others. The gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John depict Jesus from their own perspectives; and if you read any of these books you will have a better understanding of who Jesus is.
We have learned through Mark that Jesus is described as the Son of God in the very first sentence of the book.
Mark tells us that Jesus came preaching repentance and challenging people to believe the good news because the kingdom of God was in their midst.
Mark highlights Jesus’ authority in the way he taught. (He taught as one with authority and not as the teachers of the law)
Jesus had authority to cast out demons and heal the sick. Mark emphasized Jesus’ power to heal people and to cast out demons.
Today I would like us to see another incident in which Jesus displayed his power and authority.
It was evident that early on in his ministry, Jesus’ fame spread everywhere. Lots of people followed him everywhere he went. He returned to Capernaum and people heard he was at home. A large crowd gathered that there wasn’t any room, not even at the door. Jesus preached the word to those gathered. (preaching the good news to them); this is what we read in chapter one. He would preach everywhere he went.
Jesus’ sermon that day was interrupted by four men who brought a paralyzed man and could not enter the house due to the crowd. Sick people were brought to Jesus because they heard he had the power to heal.
The four men made an opening through the roof and lowered the paralytic to Jesus.
Jesus saw their faith (The faith of the four men who brought the paralytic). Faith causes people to move, they understood the one who could heal their friend was in that house and they would do anything to get him to Jesus. Faith without action is dead. Jesus saw their faith and then said to the paralyzed man.
(v.5) “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark tells us that in the crowd that day there were some of the teachers of the law (scribes) They were appalled by what they heard. The Bible tells us that they were questioning this in their hearts. Why does this man speak like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone. (v.7)
Jesus perceived in his spirit what they were wrestling with internally. Jesus knew the thoughts in their minds, he knew their hearts and he exposed them.
Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier. To say to the paralytic ‘your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ (v.9)
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins -He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
Jesus has authority to forgive sins. Jesus used his favorite title to refer to himself, the “Son of man” This is a reference to his humanity. Jesus let everyone know that day, that he is the expected Messiah by claiming to be the Son of Man with authority to forgive sins.
The scribes were right in thinking that only God has the power to forgive sins. They just missed the fact that God was right there in their midst. Jesus is the Son of God (God in the flesh), The Son of Man, the Messiah. The one with power and authority to forgive sins.
The Bible tells us that we are all sinners, not worthy of God’s grace. The paralytic was a sinner even in his condition. Sick or healthy we are all sinners in need of God’s grace. We all need his forgiveness. The paralytic was brought to Jesus seeking a miracle that day and he went home walking and forgiven.
John the Baptist said that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. 1 John 3:5 tells us that the reason he appeared was to take away our sins. There is forgiveness of sins in Jesus. It doesn’t matter how mad you blew it; how nasty your sin is or has been. Jesus is ready to forgive you, but you must come to him. He is the one with the power to change us; he is the one with the power to change us from filthy sinners to righteous, holy people before God.
Never think that your sin is too ugly that God could not forgive. Never think that you have drifted too far that he could not reach you. Never think that you have fallen so recklessly that he could not get you up. Never underestimate God’s power to rescue you and save you and forgive you of all wickedness. There is forgiveness and restoration in him, but we must come to him.