God’s Forgiveness Mark 2:1-12

Text: “But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts...who can forgive sins but God only?”

Mark 2:7.


Good morning, forgiven Christian!  Being justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Atonement for us at the Cross, we have perfect peace with God; that peace emanates from having one’s sins forgiven.  Hallelujah!  Peace with God Almighty! 


“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...”.  (Romans 5:1) (Isaiah 43:25-26)


Of all sicknesses, infirmities, and diseases - sin against God is by far the most deadly and dangerous.  Why?  For God hates even “...the garment spotted by the flesh...” of man/womankind’s sinful nature. (Jude 23) (James 1:27) (Joshua 24:14-22) (Zechariah 3:1-4)


God’s eyes are so infinitely pure and Holy that He cannot look upon sin, in any of its vile manifestations, without punishing the sinner for his/her iniquities.  (Habakkuk 1:12-13) (Psalm 119:102-104)


Our filthy, daily, failings and sins took the pure and priceless Jesus to Golgotha’s Hill.  Thus, to remain a Holy Lord God, God is bound by His own Holiness to punish every sin committed.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God with sin on one’s heart and hands.  Yet, we who hear the Gospel message are not without hope.  Praise God!  He is gracious indeed.  (Hebrews 10:30-31) (Ephesians 2:11-19)


Today’s Bible reading reveals three main principles of Christian faith and practice:


          (a)  Jesus loves faith;


          (b)  Jesus hates sin;


          (c)  Jesus heals sinners.


Jesus Loves Faith: (V.5) Jesus loves to see faith in us - for it is His gift to us, and without faith it is impossible to please God.  (Ephesians 2:8-9) (Hebrews 11:1;6)


Jesus saw their faith in practical action.  True faith always inspires worthy actions. 


“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”  (James 2:17)


Jesus Hates Sin: (V.5) Christ, confronted by five faithful men, immediately saw their plight.  Yet, ‘...man looketh on the outward appearance, and God looketh on the heart.’  (1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus hated the man’s disease, but He hated his sin all the more.  The man’s disease would kill his body, but his sin would damn his soul to an Eternity of separation from God’s Presence.  Jesus hates sin, and immediately forgave the man his trespasses and sins.  The creature can only sin, in the primary sense, against his/her Creator God.  Therefore, only God can forgive sins!  It’s ironic, but even the otherwise unbelieving Pharisees/Scribes knew this much truth!  (John 8:32)


Jesus Heals Sinners: (Vs.10-12) Disease, thorns, and sweat are the fruit of God’s Curse against sin.  We know this from our reading of Genesis 3:16-19.


Therefore, as our passage reveals, once Christ forgave the man’s sins - revealing He was, is, and always shall be God - He loved the man enough to also heal his disease because it was His own sovereign will to do so.  (Ephesians 1:11)


J.C. Ryle Comments:

“We see, in the last place, in these verses, the priestly power of forgiving sins, which is possessed by our Lord Jesus Christ.


“We read that our Lord said to the sick of the palsy, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” He said these words with a meaning. He knew the hearts of the Scribes by whom He was surrounded. He intended to show them that He laid claim to be the true High Priest, and to have the power of absolving sinners, though at present the claim was seldom put forward. But that He had the power He told them expressly. He says, “The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” In saying “thy sins be forgiven thee,” He had only exercised His rightful office.

“Let us consider how great must be the authority of Him, who has the power to forgive sins! This is the thing that none can do but God. No angel in heaven, no man upon earth, no church in council, no minister of any denomination, can take away from the sinner’s conscience the load of guilt, and give him peace with God. They may point to the fountain open for all sin. They may declare with authority whose sins God is willing to forgive. But they cannot absolve by their own authority. They cannot put away transgressions. This is the peculiar prerogative of God, and a prerogative which He has put in the hands of His Son Jesus Christ.

“Let us think for a moment how great a blessing it is, that Jesus is our great High Priest, and that we know where to go for absolution! We must have a Priest and a sacrifice between ourselves and God. Conscience de­mands an atonement for our many sins. God’s holiness makes it absolutely needful. Without an atoning Priest there can be no peace of soul. Jesus Christ is the very Priest that we need, mighty to forgive and pardon, tender-hearted and willing to save.” (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)


It is not always God’s will to immediately heal folk who suffer from disease, yet all who are saved have been healed from the infinitely more fatal disease of sin.  Christ heals sinner’s souls.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!


Thought:  When one sins against God, God ALONE can forgive that sin.

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