June 05, 2009

Jesus Meets Our Greatest Need

Mark 2:1-12

”Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:5


Yesterday we saw the faith-driven actions of four men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus, and today we focus on what Jesus said to the man.

Jesus said first, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Those words caused a stir among the people in the house. They believed—correctly—that only God can forgive sins. So was Jesus claiming to be God?

What’s more, the man’s friends had brought him to be healed. He was paralyzed and couldn’t walk. So why would Jesus begin by talking about forgiveness?

Jesus knew what everyone was thinking, and he taught some great lessons here. First, he taught that the greatest need in everyone’s life is forgiveness. Second, Jesus showed that he had divine authority both to forgive sins and to heal. “Which is easier,” asked Jesus, “to forgive or to heal?” Then, to show that he had the authority to forgive sins, he said to the lame man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” The man got up and walked out of the house in full view of everyone.

Like all the other miracles of Jesus, the healing of the man who was lowered through the roof pointed to Jesus’ identity, authority, and saving purpose.

Jesus meets every believer’s needs, the greatest of which is the forgiveness of sins. And forgiveness is possible only through him, for he paid the price for our sins.

Thank you, Father, for Jesus and for the forgiveness of sins through him. Help us to believe fully that Jesus heals and forgives, that we may have joy and peace in you. Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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