God With Us, Part 2 | Mark 2:8–12
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!”
The scribes rightly questioned, for only God could do what Jesus claimed to do. He claims to forgive sins, and then he tells the lame to walk. Both statements are easy to say for the liar or for the fool. Yet, Jesus reveals exactly Who He is, backing up the claim with evidence.
Jesus says He has divine authority. When He speaks, He refers to Himself in the third person (known as an illeism), the same way in which God does in the Old Testament speaks of Himself. This is both a humble expression of Christ’s humanity (used also of the Ezekiel in Eze 2:1) as well as a Messianic expression (Dan 7:13–14)—especially when coupled with the confession of divine authority granted to Him “upon the earth.”
Jesus completely heals. This is the evidence of His God-given authority. Being God, Jesus could command the nerves and muscles within the paralyzed to begin functioning. A charlatan may have asked the man to attempt to wiggle some toes, and then may have asked the crowd to watch the paralytic for improvement over time. Yet, the Great Physician restores the man whole, as the undoubted muscular atrophy reverses before their eyes, and this man grasps his bed and stands upright. No wonder they were amazed (v. 12)—Only God could do what they had witnessed!
Jesus completely forgives. The point wasn’t to wow, but to awe. Jesus isn’t just a physician for the disease-riddled body, but also for the sin-riddled soul. Jesus was simply—an amazing word in this context—simply proving what He said to the paralytic in v. 5, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” If He has the divine authority to know men’s hearts and to heal completely, then He has the authority to justify the sinner completely. When you sin, repent and place your trust in the One who casts your sins as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12).