“On Your Mark”
The Glory of Jesus (Chapter 2 Verses 1-12)
Here they come again (v6). Their unbelief is challenged once again. Both feet first, a two footed tackle. These men are law teachers and they know their stuff, never equate knowledge with spirituality, vital godliness. You can have mountains of the former, and not an ounce of the other. Now these folk are cowards as well, because if they believed blasphemy had been committed they should have been on their feet, shouting the odds, and tearing their clothes. But they are not, why, because they are hypocrites, they sit there thinking it (v7), but haven’t got the bottle to say it. Christians are more honest than that, are they not? Yes, it is true, only God can forgive sins, they are totally right there. But their reasoning is according to human reason not Biblical reasoning. Yes, for a mere man to pretend that he has the power to forgive sins, be he pope, cardinal, priest or president, would be blasphemous indeed. With stunning directness Jesus confronts them (v8), giving further evidence of his deity. In answer to his own question (v9)? Both require the same authority, God alone can forgive sin, and God alone can instantly heal a paralyzed man. Now if they had reasoned properly, sensibly (Isaiah 1.18), they would have arrived at the right answer, concerning the true nature of Jesus. So (v10-11), he gives them demonstrable proof. The first action forgiving sin, was invisible, it was already done, irreversible, justified for ever. But the second action was visible, undeniable, all could see it. A visible demonstration of the power of the Son of God, to deal with human sin. Why won’t we believe without seeing (John 20.29)?
The man was carried in (v12), but he walked out, in front of them all, nobody could deny it. These wicked unbelieving people who would not be persuaded, because they just don’t want to be. Don’t be surprised at the blindness you see around you in society today, many like these cultish antagonists, just don’t want to be persuaded, they would rather have their dead useless religion. It was irrelevant to both spiritual, and human needs, no good to man nor beast as we say. They would rather turn their backs on a life-giving Saviour (John 5.21; 20.31). How solemn, how utterly tragic, how heartbreakingly sad. The purpose of Jesus is achieved, everyone praises and glorifies God (v12), that was his intention from the start (John 5.30). And it shall ever be accomplished, God will have his way and his folk, his glory will fill this earth (Psalm 72.19).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)