The Bible says concerning Jesus in Mark 2:1-2, And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them. Jesus and His disciples had just returned from a preaching tour. We know from this and other passages that Capernaum was kind of like the home base for Jesus during much of His public ministry. Thats why it says in verse 1 that when He returned to Capernaum, He was in the house. We think that this was Peters house based upon things that are said in all the gospels. We do know that Capernaum was His base. We often call Him, Jesus of Nazareth, because of the years that He lived in Nazareth as a carpenter, but we could also call Him Jesus of Capernaum.
Already we see the nature of Jesus ministry. He was a Jew. His mother, Mary, and His stepfather, Joseph, were faithful Jews. But it is important to note that Jesus did not have any official position within the Jewish religion. He was not a part of the organized religion. He was the Messiah, and organized religion should have recognized Him and honored Him for what He was, but they did not. They feared Him, and they saw Him as a competitor; and so they did what jealous and desperate men do in such situations. They did the ultimate crime for what they had to do to eliminate the competition. They conspired against Jesus and had Him put to death.
In many ways Jesus was not a part of the organized religion of His culture. In a few ways He was, but in many ways He was not. He was ordained of God, not of man. When Jesus emptied Himself and came into the world, we know that He went through the formative and developmental years. Without in any way taking away from His divine nature, somehow Jesus showed how a human being should live on this earth. Speaking of His childhood, the scripture tells us that He grew in wisdom and in stature. Because of His relationship with the Father and because He was led by the Spirit in all things, as a human Jesus became all that He should have become. He became a preacher and a teacher. He became a public proclaimer of what He knew. When the time came for Him to speak, He spoke. Thats why Mark 2:2 says, He preached the Word unto them. He did not need an official position within the hierarchy of a human religious organization in order to speak when the time came to speak.
Jesus spoke. No man ever spoke as this man, and the multitudes came to hear Him. One such incident is found here in Mark chapter two. Mark 2:3-5 says, And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was born of four. And when they could not come near unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was; and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. What Jesus said to this young man is one of the most important things that God could say to anyone. Thy sins be forgiven thee. Only Jesus can forgive sins. If you understand the greatness of your sins and if you want them to be forgiven, then you must come to Jesus.
Jesus said, Thy sins be forgiven thee. Notice what prompted Jesus to say this. Jesus saw their faith and then He said, Thy sins be forgiven thee. The way to find forgiveness of sins is to put your faith in Jesus. Ephesians 2:8 says, For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Faith is the answer. Faith is the key. Faith is the means by which you find forgiveness from Jesus. To have faith means that you depend upon, you rely upon, and you trust in Jesus to forgive you of your sins. These men brought the one sick with palsy to Christ. Of course, they wanted him healed. Jesus sees the heart. He saw their faith, and perhaps He saw the doubts of the young man caused by a guilty conscience. If you are troubled by the burden of sin, then it is the greatest problem that you have; and that is the problem that Jesus wants to fix first of all.
The reaction of the self-righteous religious scribes is given in Mark 2:6-7. It says, But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? Their statement was correct about who can forgive sins, but they were wrong in their understanding of who was Jesus. The doctrine of the divinity of Christ is one of the great doctrines of the Bible that divides the true from the false. If you want to find out if some religious group is false or not, then find out the details of what they teach about Jesus the Son of God. Unless they teach the divine nature of Christ, they do not know Him. Unless they teach the deity of Christ, they are false through and through. First John 4:1-3 says, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Be careful. There are false teachers, and the way that you will spot them is by what they teach concerning the divinity of Christ.
The religious leaders understood very well that Jesus had taken authorities that only rightly belonged to God. Of course, Jesus was not wrong in doing so if He was God. The response of Jesus to the accusations and condemnations of the religious leaders is given in Mark 2:8-12, And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned among themselves, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that you may know that the son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he says to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. Jesus made it very clear why He healed this man: to prove that Jesus had the power to forgive sins. Only God can forgive sins, and only God can do this kind of miraculous healing. Jesus could do the one because He could do the other. The people who saw what happened were correct. They said, We never saw it on this fashion. And no one has seen it since. Dont be fooled. No one can heal the way that Jesus did. He did it because He was the divine Son of God.
Jesus was and is the divine Son of God, but notice that He called Himself in this passage just as He did many other times the Son of man. Jesus was teaching in everything that He said. Here He was teaching His close personal connection to the human race. In the midst of our busy, short, and sinful lives, the great God of the universe came and dwelt among us to bring us salvation. He humbled Himself. The Son of God called Himself the Son of man. He came to serve, not to be served. He took our sins upon Himself. He felt our sorrows. He suffered our punishments. He cried our tears. In spite of it all, He loved us. He loved us all, all the way to the cross.
In the early days of His ministry what wonderful times those were in Palestine and in Galilee. The excitement among all the people must have filled the air! The Master, the Great teacher had been presented to the people. The word about Him had now already spread throughout the countryside. No man spake as this man. He taught with authority, not as the scribes and Pharisees; and He taught a new doctrine: wonderful things that had never been heard before by the ears of man.
Mark 2:13 says, And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. Jesus taught the multitudes. He had all those people together in one place, and He taught them. What the world needs is to be taught the truth about God and the will of God and the salvation of God, and all the things that God has revealed concerning human life and behavior, and concerning His promises and the future that He has planned.
Jesus taught multitudes and great crowds, and He also taught on an individual level. If you are a real teacher, then you teach where you can and when you can. You do not just teach in a classroom. You teach in your individual contacts with people also. Mark 2:14-15 says, And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. And it came to pass that as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. Levi, we know as Matthew, wrote the first book of the New Testament. Of course, the most significant thing about him was that before becoming an apostle, he had been a tax collector. The tax collectors worked for the Romans. They often became wealthy. They were looked down upon and were outcast especially by the religious leaders. You could not be much worse in Israel in the first century than to be a publican, a tax collector. But the very one whom man puts down may be the one that God lifts up. The Lord has chosen the off-scouring of the world and the foolish of the world and the weak of the world in order to confound those that are mighty.
Mark 2:16-17 says, And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eats and drinks with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he said unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. If you walk with God, you can be around the worst people of the world, and reach out to them and be a good influence and a good witness to them. If you are weak or inconsistent in your walk with the Lord, then the world will drag you down when you are around them. The worst people are not those who are considered by the world to be the sinners. The worst ones are really the self-righteous, who think themselves to be better than others. In reality we are all sinners. Thank God that Jesus is the friend of sinners. He came into the world to save sinners. If you recognize your own sinfulness, then you will find that Jesus has drawn very near to you: to receive you and to forgive you.
Notice that Jesus compared Himself to a physician. He said, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick. Most of us have gone to a physician at some time or another in our lives when our bodies needed help to be restored to a better physical condition. Do not forget that there is also a physician of the soul, and His name is Jesus. You can call on Him at any time of the day or night to find healing for your soul, and He even makes house calls. Isaiah chapter 53 says by His stripes we are healed.
Of course, this healing of the soul and this forgiveness can only be found when there is repentance. Jesus said in Mark 2:17, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus loves sinners like you and me, but there is still the requirement to repent. You must understand and recognize the greatness of your own sinfulness, and you must turn from your sins and turn to the Lord. You must change your mind about the sinful activities that you once were enslaved to. Without repentance there is no remission of sins. Isaiah 59: 2 says, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. The solution to this sin problem is declared in Isaiah 59:29, And the redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. This is the same solution that Jesus spoke of when He said, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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