Faith and Forgiveness

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Mark 2:1-12

“Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (v. 7)

When Jesus arrived home from a trip to the neighboring villages in Galilee, he
discovered a mob of people so large there was not enough room in the house. His reputation
as a teacher and healer had quickly spread. The friends of a paralyzed man went up to the
roof, dug through the clay, and lowered their friend down to Jesus. When Jesus saw their
faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

The problem was that only Jewish priests were allowed to pronounce sins forgiven, and
only in the temple. Jesus was not a priest and they were obviously not in the temple.
According to the scribes sitting in the front row, Jesus had committed blasphemy.

Jesus confronts the scribes and demonstrates his authority to forgive sins by healing the man. In other words, Jesus is, in fact, a priest – both representing God to the
people and the people to God. With his use of the term “Son of Man,” taken from Daniel 7,
Jesus identifies himself as the coming Messiah.

This story is the gospel in a nutshell: Jesus teaching and healing, Jesus condemned,
Jesus vindicated. And forgiveness is given to all who need it. Praise God, for that
includes us.

PRAYER

God of mercy, who gives forgiveness through your Son, give us faith to accept

your gifts of grace.