“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”–Mark 2:7
OK. In my last post I ran smack into this question and its answer given by Jesus. It’s one of those hard, unyielding truths that we must deal with as Christians. We are always questioning the Word of God. We always seem so ready to slip into the error of supporting our work with bible quotes rather than drawing out what we’re supposed to be doing from the Bible. Or, rather than seek forgiveness for our sins, we carry on trying to work them off with ministry projects, etc. It’s not the kind of thing you can earn folks…here’s what I mean.
“8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But 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.”–Mark 2:8-11
Jesus knows us. He knew these men were questioning what he was doing in their hearts, so he asks them simply, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?” They were they scribes. No one was more familiar with the Word of God than they were, or should have been. In fact, their question shows their familiarity, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Theirs was a holy outrage: someone was blaspheming God by putting himself in God’s place. Does Jesus beat them over the head for it? Does he say they are an idiot, a fool or make other snide comments? Nope. He tells them who he is and shows them just how much authority he has. And the paralytic gets up, picks up his bed, and goes home under his own power.
We would do well to follow that example. Sometimes, folks just don’t know what their dealing with. They surely aren’t going to know if we don’t tell them, if we don’t show them.