And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to 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’? 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.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” —Mark 2:3-12 

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” —Mark 2:16-17

            When Jesus said that He forgave our sin, believe it because He did!  “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).  Saved from what?  Save from the penalty and punishment for our sin.  Saved from eternal Judgment.  “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2).  “Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:23-25).  Righteousness has been credited to us because of His death and resurrection and because justice was served on us through Jesus.  This is a marvel of marvels!

            How is it that Jesus has authority to forgive sins?  Jewish leaders understood that only God could forgive sins.  They answered their own questions without knowing it as to who Jesus is— God in the flesh.  But Jesus was going to give them clear evidence as to who He is when He told the paralytic to “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  There was the “proof” the religious leaders could see.  The people were “all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!”’

            The religious leaders were constantly questioning Jesus regardless of the miracles He did.  They couldn’t believe that Jesus was “eating with tax collectors and sinners?”  These religious leaders would never do that!  They thought they were all set before God and did not want to taint themselves with the likes of “tax collectors and sinners.”  They had lost their purpose.  Yet these were the very people Jesus went to and offered them forgiveness.  Something the Jewish leaders largely thought they were not in need of.

Dear Father I am so glad You called my Name and drew me to Jesus.  Now may I encourage others to call on Jesus to be saved as well.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.  So be it.

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