Focal passage: Mark 2:1-12
A prominent early church father named Iranaeus said, “If Christ forgives sins he must be truly God, for no one can forgive sins but God.”
The main point of this week’s text is that Christ forgives sins.
He alone has the authority and power to do so.
One commentator, William Lane, explains that while the effects of sin have caused sickness and disease, Jesus’ healing miracles demonstrate that He is undoing the curse. He is making all things new, and His ministry points forward to the end of time.
The signs and wonders of Jesus leading up to His encounter with the paralyzed man call our attention to the promises of prophetic hope (2 Corinthians 4:17-18; 1 Peter 5:10).
We wait for a future Kingdom where there is no need of healing.
However, it is important that we do not link physical sickness with a corresponding sin.
Lane writes, “There is no suggestion in the narrative that the paralytic’s physical suffering was related to a specific sin.”
Some thematic threads that tie Mark’s narrative to previous stories include Jesus’ authority (Mark 1:22, 27; 2:10), Jesus’ healing of the sick (Mark 1:31, 34, 41; 2:11) and the people’s “amazed” reaction (Mark 1:22, 27; 2:12).
The theme of disciple-making can be found here as well, for example, when some friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus (Mark 2:3-5).
Finally, Jesus Himself preached and taught the word (Mark 1:14, 21, 38; 2:2). If Jesus is our example (1 John 2:6; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Peter 2:21; Ephesians 5:1–2), then we too should be preachers and teachers of the word.
How will you put your faith in action? In what ways can you spread the word?