Who can forgive sins?

Scripture reading for October 13th: Mark 1-3

Mark’s Gospel is concise and active.  It is alive with the Good News of God here with us and in love with us.  This revelation is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man!  Mark wastes little time with preliminaries of the Jewish history of the Christ and prophesies of His birth.  He gets right down to the action of Jesus living among His people and loving them by teaching, healing, and casting out devils.  He ate with the people and told them stories that opened up for them the kingdom of heaven and their own need for a relationship with the Father.

In Capernaum, a crowd gathered around a house where Jesus was preaching.   A group of men brought a friend who was paralyzed to Jesus for healing.  Because of the crowd there was no way to get him inside so they carried him up on the roof.  They opened a hole big enough to let the man down and lowered him into the room.

When Jesus saw the faith of the friends, He immediately responded to the man by saying: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)  This caused some religious leaders who were present to begin to think about how wrong this statement was to come from a mere man.  After all, only God could forgive sins!  (Mark 2:7)

Jesus immediately understood their thoughts and sought to help them believe.  He asked them why they were thinking these things and asked them which was easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or  “Get up, take up your bed and walk”?  In order to remove their objection, he told the man to get up, take up his bed, and walk.  This the man did to the amazement of the crowd!

This story should motivate us to seek Jesus for answers to whatever problems we face.  Jesus honors faith and no problem is too hard for Him.  We may not have faith ourselves, but believing friends can bring us to Jesus.  What friend do you know that needs help today to get to Jesus?  Take a few minutes of your day to pray for him.  As the Lord leads, get another friend or two and go and lift him to Jesus together!  Miracles are waiting for those who break through!  He truly is God!

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