Two Miracles for a Paralytic

KEY VERSE: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” —Mark 2:5


TO PROPERLY understand our Lord’s words in the Key Verse quoted above, we should consider God’s arrangement for the forgiveness of sin. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden it was against God’s laws and it was God who pronounced the sentence of death upon Adam and his race. Subsequently, when God began dealing with the nation of Israel, he offered a way of escape from the sentence of death if they were able to keep his laws perfectly, saying, “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.”—Lev. 18:4,5

In dealing with the nation of Israel, it was necessary that their sins be forgiven, typically once a year, and for this purpose there was instituted the Tabernacle arrangement whereby animals were sacrificed and the shed blood sprinkled on the propitiatory, which pictured God’s justice. The Apostle Paul in Hebrews 9:9-12 states that what was done in the Tabernacle arrangement was only a “figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect. … But Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Here the apostle tells us that while the original Tabernacle arrangement was typical and did not really eradicate sin, Jesus by God’s arrangement (John 3:16,17) was the reality. By his sacrificial death he provided redemption (Prof. Strong—a ransoming).

Because Jesus was perfect and was pleased to yield his life as a willing sacrifice, the Heavenly Father was willing to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as a corresponding price or ransom for Adam who also was perfect at the time that he sinned. Jesus as a man took Adam’s place in death. The apostle states the matter thus, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:22) The essence of this study is that the original, and all subsequent, sins are against the Heavenly Father and his arrangements, and ultimately only he can forgive sins and only he can provide the arrangements whereby this can be accomplished.

What did Jesus mean then when he said, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins … I say unto thee, arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house”? (Matt. 9:16) The word ‘power’ is translated from the Greek word exousia, which literally means ‘authority’ or ‘delegated power.’ Jesus had come as the long-promised Messiah. He came as the Messenger of the Covenant (Mal. 3:1), to illustrate by his healing and preaching the benefits that were to accrue to the people when the kingdom was finally established. Jesus said, “The works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me [by prophecies and delegated power].”—John 5:36,37

In John 9:1-5 we have the account of Jesus healing a man who was blind from his birth. The disciples asked Jesus, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” In this text Jesus first indicates the man’s predicament was not the result of any sin that he or his parents committed, but rather his condition resulted from Adamic condemnation and that the circumstances were arranged in order that God’s power operating through Jesus might be made manifest. Then Jesus acknowledged the relatively short period of time of his ministry and his determination to finish the work that the Heavenly Father had for him to do.

Jesus did not perform two miracles on the paralytic. His condition was due to Adamic condemnation and when Jesus healed him, the evidence of that condemnation was temporarily lifted from him.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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