God with Us | Mark 2:6–8

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?

Mark shifts to the lawyers, the experts in the Law of Moses.  Jesus had caught their attention, and they’re evaluating His teaching.  This isn’t wrong, and we should likewise listen carefully to everything our Lord says.  When we come to important conclusions based on what He says, Jesus will force us to choose what to believe about Him. 

Jesus is God with us.  The scribes reason correctly—saying “your sins are forgiven” is blasphemous if spoken by anyone else.  Since sin is a violation of God’s Law (1 Jn 3:4), only God the Lawgiver can forgive sins, and He emphatically says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa 43:25).  Yet, God also said through Isaiah in 7:14 that a child would be born to a virgin, and that His name is “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (cf. Mt 1:23).  Being “God with us,” He can blot out our transgressions at will.

Jesus knows the heart.  We don’t read that He saw the looks on their faces or perceived their body language, but that He was “perceiving in his spirit.”  He speaks with a supernatural insight that undoubtedly chilled them to the bone.  While He had laid aside much of His transcendence when He came to earth (Phil 2:5–8), we see here that God the Son still wields the knowledge of His deity.  Consider Jeremiah 17:9–10 say, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
The fact that “Jesus knows my heart” is often recited by the unbeliever as a fool’s comfort.  It neglects the reality that Jesus also knows the true depth of all our depravity.  Yet, being “God with us” and knowing the full extent of our sins, He can forgive all our sins if we only seek Him in penitent faith!

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