Mark 3:7-19 7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
The popularity of Jesus continued to increase exponentially at the beginning of His public ministry. After all, everyone enjoys a good show, and Jesus was performing all kinds of miracles so that a great number of people had been healed. How could He do this? Rumours about Jesus must have spread like wildfire so that an increasing radius of towns and cities had heard about Him. But what was the message that they were hearing? How many understood the Gospel message at this point? None would have understood yet what it meant that Jesus would die for their sins. But there was an increasing number of followers who genuinely saw their need of repentance toward God and of faith in their Lord Jesus Christ. They saw Jesus as the only means of their salvation, although they did not yet fully comprehend what this meant.
It was at this point in Jesus’ ministry that He directly chose the men through whom the Church would be established and the false convert by whom His betrayal would be fulfilled. How different Jesus’ perspective would have been from all who surrounded Him. In spite of the fact that the demons recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God even they did not know what lay ahead at the cross. None but Jesus alone knew the ramifications of the decision He now undertook in choosing these twelve ordinary men. It was at this point that the stage had been set for what was to come. Only Jesus understood this.
How foolish the wisdom of man is compared to the wisdom of God. Mankind likes to think of himself as smart. We like to follow great men and many desire to be great themselves. But we are all fools compared to the wisdom of God. How often are we oblivious to what is actually transpiring in the events that surround us? How many really understand what is going on in the midst of this current pandemic? We are absolutely limited in ability to comprehend and understand what is going on around us. But not with Jesus Christ. He knows all and He knew as revealed by the Spirit of God, even as a man, what was in the heart of those who surrounded Him. He saw the heart of those in misery because of their sin and were being drawn to Him. He saw the joy in the heart of those whom He had healed but afterward had no interest in Him. He saw the wickedness of those Pharisees and Herodians who wanted to destroy Him. And He saw the entertainment seeking and half-hearted interest of most of those who followed Him. But in spite of all this, the message that He proclaimed was made to all. Equal opportunity was given to everyone to hear the Good News as His Words were authenticated by the signs that He performed proving that His is indeed the Son of God.
As Jesus appointed the twelve they were to be sent out ahead of Him to preach and to have the authority to cast out demons. In spite of the fact that they had not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit as would happen years later after Jesus ascended up into heaven, they were given this ability. And even the false convert and betrayer among them, Judas Iscariot, was able to cast out demons. Mankind has a natural desire for power. And yet who is the only One that has true power?: only Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The only reason why the disciples had the ability to cast out demons was because they were sent out by Jesus. We are all utterly weak and hopeless apart from Jesus Christ. But even if we have any power from God, it does not reveal the condition of our own heart. For if this was true, Judas Iscariot never should have betrayed Jesus. And as we see further on in the book of Mark and elsewhere, the rest of the eleven were not yet in any place of spiritual maturity and yet they had received this power.
Things as they appear are often not as they are. This is why we must seek the Lord. No matter what situation you find yourself in, it is only Jesus Christ who knows the true condition of what surrounds you and the state of your own heart. Are you seeking Him? Even now, in the midst of the pandemic, are you drawing nearer to God or is it being revealed that you are farther from Him? Do you depend upon Him for your wisdom and power? Do you recognize Him as the Son of God? Do you know Jesus Christ personally or do you just pretend to know Him? Do you really love Jesus Christ with all your heart or do you actually hate Him? The Good News is open to all but where do you stand with Him? Is it He who you have been looking to after these many weeks of upheaval or have you found your own way?
There is great peace in resting in the knowledge and power of Jesus Christ if we are among the children of God. But there is reason for great fear if we are not His. If you know Him, rest in Him. He is the only One who really knows you and can and will raise you up for His glory! But if you do not know Him, one day it will be revealed who you really are. At the judgment seat of Christ it will be revealed to all who reject Him the wickedness of their hearts and they will be eternally condemned for it. For if we do not glorify our Creator, we deserve to be punished for this evil. But if we come to the cross of Jesus Christ, and in our desperate need cry out Him as the only means of salvation, He will save us! He will rescue us! He will make known to us that He is the Son of God! Thanks be to God for the wisdom and power of Jesus Christ!
Pastor Murray Hack
Mark 2:23-28 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Mark 3:1-6 1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
The Book of Mark is the shortest Gospel account describing the Good News- the events of the life of Jesus as He walked upon this earth to provide for our salvation. Jesus is right now seated at the right hand of God in heaven and one day in the future He will return to this earth in full authority to judge the world in righteousness. Already at the end of Mark 2 and the beginning of Mark 3 we see His authority directly challenged to the point of His enemies wanting Him destroyed. The sinful nature in man is such that all of mankind who are not drawn to the cross of Jesus Christ will at some point desire to destroy the One who is Lord over all. Why? Because if God has infinite authority over all of His creation we cannot claim authority ourselves. We are all in subject to Him and we must live our lives according to His desires and not our own. But the greatness of God is that He does not force us to obey Him and to love Him. He is looking for willing subjects who love Him with all their heart. His future perfect eternal Kingdom will only include those who willingly submit themselves to Him and rejoice in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
The leading religious authority at that time in Israel was the party of the Pharisees. The Pharisees attempted to raise the 613 laws given to Moses to even greater heights to prove their great wisdom and holiness. They added additional traditions- more rules to the Old Testament law by which their greatness could be displayed to all: fasting, long prayers, etc. They were the spiritual elite in Israel at that time and loved to display this by all the rules they followed. This set them above everyone else in the nation of Israel. And so Jesus’ spiritual authority was a direct threat to them and His teaching was very different to what they had taught the people.
The Pharisees had developed strict rules in their traditions to prevent any form of work on the Saturday to the point that plucking heads of grain in a field was a breaking of their man made laws. Their view of their relationship to God was found only in external actions: do this, don’t do that. They had elevated themselves through human effort to be above everyone else and in turn the view of their relationship with God was contingent upon others being less than they were. They did not compare themselves to the perfect standard of God but only how they perceived themselves in relation to others and what they thought God’s law required. There was no way that a “sinner” could have a relationship with God as they did. To be right with God meant that you had to be better than others. And so they challenged Jesus based on their own false beliefs.
Jesus knows the state of their hearts and so He uses an example from the life of David found in 1 Samuel 21. David, when he and his men were starving as he was fleeing King Saul, was provided the bread that only the priests were legally allowed to eat. It appeared that David had broken the law but somehow he was not condemned. How could this be? The Pharisees had a high regard for the Old Testament Scriptures but they had no answer for David’s actions. David’s actions demonstrated the true relationship of all who are in the Kingdom of God of which the Pharisees did not understand. Jesus was teaching the Pharisees what obedience looks like in the Kingdom of God as Jesus is Lord. The Christian does not obey God in order to be saved. The Christian obeys God out of the person of Christ being revealed in the Christian. All of God’s commands reflect His character. His laws exist as a revelation of who He is and what He desires just as the rules of parents within a home reveal the character of the parents. As Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, the rules related to the Sabbath were not restrictions about works but about true love and worship of God. The priests were only allowed to eat the bread of the Presence as they were set apart to bring the offerings of the people to God. But through Jesus Christ and His finished work upon the cross all who believe in His Name have access to God and can partake of the bread of the Presence. The Christian is united to Christ by His Spirit and enters into union with Christ by faith. This was foreshadowed in the life of David:
Revelation 1:5-6 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The entire religious system that the Pharisees believed was based upon rules and not a living relationship to the person of God. By Jesus claiming that He is Lord even over the Sabbath He not only was saying that He was to be worshipped as God but that their entire religious system was flawed. They were not looking for the Christ to save them but believed that they could save themselves through their obedience to the Law. Next, to prove His point, Jesus authenticates the Words that He spoke proving that He is Lord over the Sabbath by healing a man with a withered hand in front of them all.
Do you see the beauty of Jesus being Lord even of the Sabbath or are you trying to stand based upon your own efforts to be greater than those around you? Or do you feel so low that you can never live up to what others expect of you? The greatness of God is that he can take the worst sinner and glorify Himself through them if they will only repent and believe.
Pastor Murray Hack
Mark 2:18-22 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
Everything Jesus did brought attention to Himself. He acted in a manner that was above the rest of mankind and yet He who entered into creation in the likeness of sinful flesh faced all the same temptations and weaknesses that we face. But it is fascinating that He would do things that were different from John the Baptist who was the greatest of all the Old Testament prophets. Jesus performed all kinds of miracles while John the Baptist performed none and yet the message of the Gospel that they shared was the same. But there was another difference that brought confusion: Jesus never had his disciples fast. Both the disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees fasted but Jesus never required this of his disciples.
Fasting is performed when we long for something that we do not have. It is natural to lose your appetite when a terrible tragedy occurs. When you grieve the loss of a loved one you don’t have a desire to eat. The burden of grief may be so great that you don’t eat for days. You long for the one you loved and you know that you will never see them again in this lifetime.
But why did the disciples of John the Baptist fast to begin with? They fasted because of sin. The sin nature within each one of us causes us to desire evil. By nature we do not desire to love God as we should or those around us out of our love for God. We are rebels by nature and look out only for ourselves and have no desire for a relationship with the One who created us. The abuse that so many have suffered at the hands of others is a direct result of the rebellious nature that is in all of mankind.
This recognition of this evil within the heart of man should cast a person to fast. The Bible is full of accounts of when the nation of Israel fasted over its wickedness. The city of Nineveh fasted over the judgment that Jonah proclaimed by the Word of God and God spared them from the judgment that they deserved. But to fast over our sin in itself is incomplete. It doesn’t not come to a resolution or a final answer. It is hoping for a change but not looking for how the change can actually occur in our lives. There are all kinds of monks and religious people like the Pharisees who fast and strive and try to defeat the enemy within. There are all kinds of politicians who try to improve society but never are able to create utopia. Many recognize that there is a problem within the heart of man and in the world around us but they never come to a place of peace. Their heart remains the same no matter how hard they try to change it. And for those who try to create a perfect society they will always fall short.
John the Baptist went beyond the Pharisees as he truly believed that his only hope was to be found in the Christ who was to come. The Pharisees got caught up in their religious customs and although they claimed to desire the Christ they never truly fasted over their own sinfulness but only compared themselves to the state of others. Their fasting became a work proving their own status and position as compared to others. They were justified in their own eyes. But the disciples of John the Baptist were really looking for the answer as revealed by God. It had been revealed to John the Baptist that he would recognize the Christ. When he baptized someone in water God would show a sign from heaven confirming the Christ to John. And this did occur when John baptized Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry. John taught his disciples that they were to fast not just because of their sinfulness but to long for the One who could set them free from sin- Jesus Christ.
But once Jesus Christ had been revealed there was no reason for Jesus’ or John’s disciples to fast. There was no reason to long for the One who would save mankind from their sin- He was physically present! He was walking and talking and eating with His disciples. The Saviour had come! Salvation is found in a person and it was finally and fully paid for when Jesus of Nazareth died upon the cross and rose from the dead. When Jesus died, His disciples fasted until they saw Him risen from the dead. They longed to be with Jesus. And when Jesus ascended up into heaven, His disciples fasted until the Holy Spirit was poured into their hearts.
The illustration of sewing an unshrunk cloth on an old garment and new wine in old wineskins both make the point that when the Christ had been revealed there was no going back. God had previously given the nation of Israel a covenant of works by which they could be saved. You could go to heaven if you obeyed the Ten Commandments and the 613 Laws perfectly but no one succeeded in doing so except Jesus of Nazareth. But through faith in His Name anyone could be saved. Sin was defeated when our sin nature died with Him and our new nature was formed as the Holy Spirit regenerates our heart the moment we believe.
Although we do not need to fast looking for the Christ to be revealed there are still many reasons for us as Christians to fast. We fast as we long for Jesus Christ to draw near to us in our areas of need: in overcoming persisting sin in our own lives or in the Church, in overcoming demonic powers, in overcoming evil that surrounds us, and in receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But most of all we fast for God’s plan of salvation to be fully revealed. Our physical bodies which have been polluted by sin still remain. When Jesus returns those who believe in Him will receive a glorified body like His! We will see Him face to face! We will be in union with the infinite love of God for all eternity! All of creation will be glorified! But for this to happen all who are against Him must be removed forever. They will be cast into the lake of fire where they will never fast. They will forever be separated from the love of God whom they will never desire.
Has your heart yet turned to the Lord Jesus Christ or are you still blinded by your sin? Do you rejoice in Jesus Christ or do you rejoice in yourself and your own depravity?
Pastor Murray Hack
Mark 2:13-17 13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 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.”
As Jesus began His public ministry He performed all kinds of miracles that resulted in large crowds of people following Him but most were following Him for the wrong reasons. He performed the signs not to attract the crowds but to prove that He is indeed the Son of God and the Christ who came to save the world. He did not come to save us from our problems that are temporary but eternal. He came to save us from our sins and to restore a right relationship with God the Father through His sacrifice upon the cross. Continually He would correct the crowds and would surprise them by His actions. He healed a leper and yet told him to report to the priests and keep silent. The lepers actions showed that he didn’t understand the corruption within his soul and was only focused on temporal healing. A paralytic was lowered through a roof in order to be presented before Jesus. But rather than healing the man Jesus declares that his sins were forgiven. He claimed equality with God. And then He healed the man authenticating His Words revealing His power to forgive sins. And now, Jesus does something that would have turned even more heads.
The call of Levi, or Matthew which was the name given to him by Jesus, would have been a complete shock to all. No one would have expected it. Matthew was a tax collector. He was not like the paralytic or the leper who were a part of the nation of Israel but were outcasts because of sickness and disease. These were not outcasts by choice but the tax collector was. Anyone who was a tax collector was someone who was willing to betray his own people- to work for the Romans and collect the tax for Rome. They were despised by the Israelites. The lepers and the diseased were separate from the people but they weren’t hated as the tax collectors were. No one was upset when Jesus healed the sick but they would be with how he accepts Matthew as one of His disciples.
It is not likely that Matthew was a disciple of John the Baptist prior to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Matthew’s tax booth was by the Sea of Galilee- the lake where Jesus had preached in the past and Matthew must have heard Jesus and was moved in his spirit to repent and believe. But Matthew never left his tax booth. He simply sat there and listened. God had changed his heart but nobody knew it. He had been born again by the Spirit of God as he heard the words of Jesus. He would have wept over his sins and was drawn to Jesus as the only means of his salvation. But what could he do? He was a tax collector. He was hated by everyone. He couldn’t go with the crowds who followed Jesus. What could he do now?
And then Jesus passes by his booth. Jesus, the Christ of God, who sees the heart of every man knew that Matthew was a changed man. He was no longer a tax collector but a child of God! He could not go back to the life that he once lived. A man who was despised by the people was now loved by God! And so Jesus says to Levi, “Follow me.” Everything was different from Matthew from that point forward! He was taught by Jesus Himself and was among those who willingly gave up their lives for Jesus! He would end up writing the book of Matthew recorded in the New Testament. How could this be that God could use such a man for His glory who was despised by his own people? Because the grace of God can cover any sin!
Matthew’s previous friends were not among the respected people in Israel. As Matthew had been an outcast, his only friends and companions were among those who were like him. And unlike the leper who went to tell everyone about Jesus for personal gain and benefit, Matthew tells his friends of the salvation that Jesus can provide them! He had tasted first hand the love of God at the hand of Jesus and he desired that the people he knew would come to know the Christ who had saved him! Jesus would eat with them and preach to them and witness to them. He came to call sinners to Himself!
But what a contrast with the scribes and the Pharisees who were among the religious elite in Israel- respected and looked up to by all the people. They would follow the Old Testament Law (all 613 commands) to the letter (or so they thought) and would have nothing to do with these sinners. In their eyes they could not be saved. They had chosen the path to destruction.
But the Good News is that anyone can be saved! It does not matter what evils we have done or what predicament we are now in that has caused us to be hated by those around us. If we will look upon Jesus Christ, if we will hear His voice, and His call for us to turn away from our evil ways and to surrender to Him, we can be saved like Matthew! Jesus Christ has the power to wash us clean and to keep us for Himself- a holy and a pure people separate from the world! Not in the way that the scribes and the Pharisees believed by living in self righteousness but by living in the eternal Kingdom of God where Jesus Christ is King and He is the One at work in us to use us for His glory!
It is often those who are outcasts that see the love of Jesus Christ for what it truly is. The scribes and the Pharisees and most in the large crowds that followed Jesus could not see the state of their own hearts because of how they viewed each other. They were righteous in their own eyes. They did not recognize their condition before God. They were sick and in need of the Eternal Physician but could not see it. But not so with Matthew- God used his state of misery and despair to enable him to see Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ! He knew he was a sinner and his only hope was found in Jesus Christ!
Can you relate to Matthew’s condition or is the state of your heart still the same as the scribes and the Pharisees and most of those in the crowds? Jesus came to call sinners to Himself!
Pastor Murray Hack
Mark 2:1-12 1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 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. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 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? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 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!”
If there was any doubt that the crowds were following Jesus for the wrong reasons this passage makes it abundantly clear. Last week we saw how the crowds had increased in size to the point that Jesus could no longer preach in the towns. A leper who had been healed did not obey the command of Jesus and spread the news of his healing everywhere. By the time this initial preaching tour came to an end in Galilee (in northern Israel), Jesus was becoming more restricted in how and where He could share the Good News because of the excitement of the crowds.
Jesus’ public ministry was in complete contrast to John the Baptist before Him. John the Baptist preached in the wilderness- in the most remote places. John the Baptist performed no miracles and it took great effort for those to be able to hear him preach. You had to go seek him out and find him. He led people to repentance and would baptize them in water symbolizing their purification from sin as they also came to believe in faith in the coming Christ- the Saviour that would come from God. When Jesus of Nazareth was revealed to John the Baptist as the Christ, from that point forward John the Baptist pointed all of his followers to go and follow Jesus instead. Jesus on the other hand was as accessible as He could be. He went to every town to share the Good News. He performed all kinds of miracles and continually made it known in different ways that He is the Christ as the Son of God. It was easy to find Jesus. He made the Good News available and accessible to all. He was absolutely approachable as the Gospel was for all people. The way of salvation appeared to be made hard by John the Baptist while on the surface it appeared easy through Jesus. But it was exactly the same message of salvation. It would take the infinite power of God to save a single soul. The crowds did not understand the reasons why Jesus’ actions were so different from John the Baptist and yet how they were in perfect harmony in the message of salvation that they both preached. In the same way the crowds did not understand the Word of God that had been revealed as recorded in the Old Testament that pointed to Jesus as the Christ.
As Jesus returned home to Simon Peter’s house in Capernaum the crowds continued to press in around him to the point that people were willing to take apart a roof to get access to Jesus! A man who was paralyzed was lowered down into the presence of Jesus. A dramatic scene was about to unfold of which no one had expected. Instead of healing the man, Jesus says to him, “Your sins are forgiven.” The paralyzed man had obviously shown signs of genuine repentance before God and faith in the Christ to whom he had been laid before. This proclamation of forgiveness is not what the people had expected. They expected Jesus to heal the man. But not this time, at least not yet. Jesus would forgive sins! Jesus was getting the reputation of a great miracle worker as well as a great preacher but now He claimed to be able to forgive sins!
Many people tend to trivialize sins in our day. Our evil actions and our rebellion against the God who formed us is not seen as a great evil. Many people think that they can wipe away their own sins by doing something good. But there is no way that any one of us can truly have a single sin washed away apart from the work of Jesus Christ. And the scribes, who knew the Scriptures well, were right in saying, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They knew that Jesus’ words were a claim of equality with God Himself. This was a greater sign than all the acts of healing that Jesus had performed thus far and yet nothing physical had occurred. The paralyzed man was still paralyzed. This is what the healed leper did not understand as we discussed last week from Mark 1:40-45. He had been healed physically but his sins had not been forgiven. Here was a paralyzed man forgiven by the Christ and yet his physical ailments remained. It would have been infinitely better for him to live the rest of his life as a paralyzed man with his sins forgiven than a healed man with his sins remaining. Do we comprehend the need for our souls to be healed? Do we genuinely desire a relationship with God through Jesus Christ or are we just looking for a Christ who will ease our suffering?
To authenticate His own words, Jesus heals the man. He says in Mark 2:10-11 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
He showed everyone present that He is the Christ, the Son of God. The act of healing proved the authority of the Word that Jesus spoke. And we know that His Words were confirmed and completed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was on the cross that this paralyzed man’s sins were paid for.
Are you beginning to see more and more how different this Kingdom of God is than our present world? In the midst of this pandemic are you consumed with what is going on in the world around you or are you more and more focused on the presence of God and the Kingdom of God recognizing the King whose authority is above all? Do you know if your sins are forgiven? Are you amazed and do you glorify God that this is true of you? How can it be that any of us could be forgiven by so great a Saviour? Praise be to God!
Pastor Murray Hack