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Mark 2:10

Mark 2:10
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Mark 2:10, “…the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

I get so familiar with the idea of sins being forgiven that it can lose its wonder for me at times…but consider what Jesus is saying here. He is claiming to have the authority to forgive injustices and transgressions committed against other human beings and—most fundamentally—against God Himself.

As David says in Psalm 51:4, and as the scribes seem to recognize in this passage, sin—though truly an injustice toward other people—is primarily committed against God. This is why God alone can forgive sins (2:7).

If I steal something, the person I stole it from was wronged and so they have the authority to forgive me if I repent. However, more foundationally than that, by stealing from them, I sinned against God by I sinning against the conscience He gave me, or by not believing in His provision for me, or simply by taking matters “out” of His hands and into my own, etc. etc….So even if the offended human party forgives me, the sin is not washed away, it is not ultimately forgiven until GOD releases me from my indebtedness to HIM.  Because sin is most essentially rebellion against God, only God can forgive a sin to the uttermost.

So consider the implications when Jesus says the He has authority on earth to forgive sins! Simply on the human level that is an incredible claim! Jesus has authority to forgive this paralytic for his rudeness toward his friends, for his bitter or disbelieving thoughts, for his selfish actions toward others, etc. The Lord does not consult with those offended or harmed by the paralytic, He simply forgives him without asking them their leave to do so.

But more than that, Jesus claims to be able to forgive on God’s behalf….that is the part that stirs up the scribes. This man, this carpenter’s son, claims—and backs it up with miraculous works—to speak for God….claims to be able to release humans from their debt to God….Without offering, without sacrifice, without ritual washing, without even prayer, Jesus forgives this man’s sin. “Son, you sins are forgiven.” What an awesome claim to authority…..what an awesome statement.

But—its not true to say that Jesus forgives “without sacrifice.” He forgives this man’s sin because He has “found a ransom” (Job 33:24), He Himself will be the sacrifice (Mark 10:45).

The Son of Man has authority–even today–on earth to forgive sins–even our own. May the nations be drawn by cords of sovereign love to receive this blood-bought gift!