September 13, 2020

Our Greatest Need – the Forgiveness of Sin

Passage: Mark 2:1-12
Service Type:


  • A remarkable event in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ - We see Jesus define authority to forgive sins
  • The forgiveness of our sin is our greatest need
    • Unforgiven sin sends people to hell
    • We are all sinners and all deserve hell
    • God through Christ has made a provision to rescue us from sin
    • Forgiven sinners have an eternal home in heaven
  • Sin and guilt is our greatest problem
    • A psychiatrist said that 95% of people need a priest - their problem is guilt
    • Christianity is the only religion that addresses the problem of sin and guilt
    • This passage specifically addresses this topic
  • Reading Mark 2:1-12
  • Prayer
  • We are only in the second chapter of Mark but Jesus has already demonstrated a lot about Himself
    • His authority as a preacher/teacher - 1:22
    • His authority over unclean spirits and demons - 1:27
    • His authority to heal the sick - 1:34
    • His authority to cleanse the defiled - 1:40
  • Now Jesus demonstrates an authority that is unique to God alone - the authority to forgive sin

Looking at the Text

v1-2: a self-seeking crowd gathered

  • Jesus was in His home town, perhaps His own house
  • A very large crowd had gathered - such there was no room
    • Why? - Jesus was preaching to them
    • Preaching was Jesus' purpose - 1:38
  • Were the crowds there to hear Jesus preach?
    • Were they there [simply] to see a miracle worker?
    • Often when large crowds gather, they form an obstruction to His ministry
      • They often wanted miracles but had no interest in His spiritual message
    • Do we recognise our need for God's word?
  • Pharisees and Scribes present - cf Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26
    • The pharisees were there not to hear Jesus but to judge and 'correct' His teaching
    • The scribes were there not to hear Jesus but to trap Him with 'blasphemy'
    • They hated Jesus preaching forgiveness of sin to all who would hear Him

v3-4: introduced to 5 men

  • A paralytic man being carried by 4 others
  • Are these men here also just for self-seeking reasons? For the healing of the paralytic?
    • They are determined to hear the gospel
    • They desire to be at the feet of Jesus
  • The men start digging through the roof
    • It showed their determination to reach to Jesus
    • They had heard Jesus and they believed in Him - 1:5
      • Their faith was linked to action
    • Faith is always linked to action
    • Do our actions show that we are redeemed people? - examples

v5: the forgiveness of sins

  • God only forgives a repentant heart
  • This paralytic man must have heard Jesus preaching – 1:14-15
    • Yes he wanted healing, he would have been condemned by society for his ailments
      • But he recognised that he must be rescued from his sin
      • He sought out Jesus
    • He knew Jesus had the power to heal the heart and soul, as well as the physical
  • Jesus openly affirms the state of all who believe in Him - forgiveness
    • The paralytic said nothing, asked for nothing
      • Yet Jesus saw his heart and saw his faith
      • He was forgiven by God's grace through faith
    • We cannot do anything to take away our sin - we need the forgiveness of Christ
  • The God of the Bible is a God who forgives sins
    • Exodus 34:6-7, Isaiah 43:25
    • He loves to pardon and forgive His children
      • Jesus addresses the paralytic man with "son" - 1:5

v6-8: Jesus demonstrates that He is God

  • Jesus' words caused great offense to those present
    • Whilst the paralytic rejoiced in his heart ... the Pharisees and Scribes took great offence
      • Is it often not the religious who take offense to God's word?
    • The Scribes theology was correct - only God can forgive sins - 1:7
      • Jesus is here proclaiming and showing that He is God
      • Jesus is God with us - Emmanuel
      • Jesus displays His God-nature
  • Jesus shows that He is God
    • Jesus sees the hearts of the scribes
      • He has the authority to see into their hearts
    • Jesus forgives
      • To prove He has authority to forgive sin, He heals the paralytic man – 1:9-12
    • The paralytic man left the house completely changed - physically healed and spiritual forgiven

v12: the response

  • All were amazed by this - 1:12
    • Have you seen anything like this?
  • Are you amazed at His preaching?
    • The forgiveness of sins is the message of the gospel we preach
  • Sin is humanities greatest need - Romans 3:23
    • The guilt of sin condemns us
  • Christ brings forgiveness of sin
    • God is a merciful God who forgives sin
    • This is the Christian gospel
      • There is no other gospel
    • cf Acts 13:38, Ephesians 1:7

Closing Remarks