February 9, 2005

Mark 2:1-12 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Mark 2:1-12
(November 21, 2004 Sermon Notes)

Ever since his anointing as king at his baptism, Jesus has been displaying his authority. He teaches with authority, unlike the scribes (1:22). He has authority over demons (1:27). He has authority to heal (1:29-34). He even has authority to remove what God has imposed (1:40-45). But that authority leads to conflict and that conflict erupts here in our text.


When Jesus returns to Capernaum, a crowd gathers (“synagogued”) at the house he’s in and as Jesus preaches to this new “synagogue” four men bring a paralyzed man to him, so that he, too, can share the blessings of God’s kingdom as the prophets had promised (Isa. 35:6).

The men can’t reach Jesus, so they dig through the roof and lower the man down to Jesus. Their actions remind us of a burial, and specifically of 2 Kings 13:20-21, where a man is lowered into Elisha’s grave, touches Elisha’s bones, and stands up again. Jesus will act as a new Elisha!

Seeing their faith in their actions, Jesus pronounces the paralyzed man forgiven. Through their faith their friend is benefited. He becomes the first to receive the forgiveness of sins John the Baptist promised (Mark 1:4). Jesus speaks for the Father and calls him “Child” and forgives his sins.


Jesus’ earlier teaching in the synagogue led to a demonic attack (1:23-27). This time the attack comes from the scribes, whose teaching Jesus has surpassed. In their hearts, they accuse him of blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins and he has established the priesthood and the temple and the sacrifices as the way to receive that forgiveness (Lev. 4:31). But Jesus has bypassed that whole system. Who does Jesus think he is?

Jesus knows by the Spirit what they’re thinking. He asks which is easier: to declare the man forgiven or to tell him to get up and walk. Both are equally easy; both require God’s authority. If Jesus can heal, that indicates that he has the authority to do what only God can do.

And so Jesus does heal the paralyzed man. He tells him to arise (that’s resurrection language!) and the man arises.

Jesus has the authority because he is the “son of man.” That name is used for Ezekiel and this passage may remind us of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (Ezek. 37). It also reminds us of Daniel 7, where one like a son of man, representing God’s saints, inherits a kingdom and authority to judge (see Rev. 20:4). Jesus represents his people and exercises this authority to judge, but he shares it with others (Matt. 9:8; 18:18; John 20:23).

The crowds praise God. This is the first time they’ve seen this kind of authority, authority not only to heal but to forgive. Jesus has the authority to bring people into God’s kingdom. The raising of the paralyzed man points forward to Jesus’ own resurrection, the ultimate proof of his authority.

Posted by John Barach @ 10:56 am | Discuss (0)

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