Salvation in Mark 12:1-2

This summer’s teaching is going to be focused all around the Life of Christ. SWO14 is going to be saturated with study of Jesus’ life, actions, and identity as God. Over the next two months our entire staff is studying the Gospel of Mark in-depth, and we hope to share a little of what the Lord is teaching us as we go! Here is a quick study of Jesus healing the paralytic below, written by OLD School staffer Josh Martin.

Jesus Saves the Paralytic…and Heals him.

Verses 1-4. The fame of Jesus is starting to spread through the region. Previously on His visit to Capernaum, he has cast a demon out of a man and healed Peter’s mother-in-law. In Mark 1:32 we see Jesus healing “all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.” Now, back in Capernaum, the crowds are starting to gather. So much that there is no more room in the entire house where He is teaching. Here, Jesus is doing what He told the disciples He came to do: to preach the Word. There must have been a combination of the crowd who came to witness miracles or who came to hear Jesus preach. In this passage, we see some men who came to hear Him preach but are opposed to what He has to say, and another group who came to be healed.

Verses 5-6. The men who brought the paralytic are determined to see Jesus. No doubt they have heard stories about how He healed so many others in Capernaum, or possibly these men witnessed such things. The scribes are also present, but with different motives. The scribes, along with the pharisees, will be a constant voice of opposition to the message Christ is proclaiming. They are so blinded by their own laws and ceremonies, that they cannot see Christ for who He is. Their hearts are hard and it is evident in this story. The men with the paralytic men demonstrate their faith by doing whatever is necessary to bring their friend to Jesus. They knew their friend had no other hope of being healed apart from Christ.

Verses 7-12. Jesus demonstrated His authority in several ways during this story. First, by simply preaching the word to them. It is obvious that everywhere Jesus went, He proclaimed the Gospel, and in most instances it is recorded that the people marveled. The recognized His authority in preaching and explaining the scriptures (because He wrote it!). The gathered crowd is a testament to the work Christ was doing. Both in proclaiming the Gospel and performing miracles.

In this passage we not only see Him preaching the word and healing, but Christ forgives a man of his sins. He saw the faith of the man and his friends and acknowledged their faith. He did so by announcing that the man’s “sins are forgiven you.” But what is even more amazing in this passage is how Christ used the disbelief of the scribes to demonstrate His authority. Anyone can say to someone that their sins are forgiven, so Jesus goes to another level and heals the man just by speaking. He does this to demonstrate that He in fact does have the authority to forgive that man’s sin.

I like this story, because Jesus didn’t just speak to the man or or just heal him. He first read the hearts and minds of the scribes and basically healed the man to spite them. The order in which Christ performed this miracle is great. He didn’t heal the man first. The first thing he did was to say something that got the scribes angry and thinking to themselves that Jesus is committing blasphemy. Then to prove that He has power, He heals the man. But the most amazing part of the story is how He told the scribes what they were thinking while they were thinking it.

Anyone can say the words “your sins are forgiven,” and it is possible for someone to fake heal someone. But in this story, Jesus demonstrates His power by perceiving what was inside the hearts of the scribes. Of course Jesus can forgive that man of his sins, he knew his heart. He knew those men had faith in Him and His Gospel.

Josh Martin
Assistant Director of OLD School

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