If you could use just one word to describe yourself before God, what would it be? Well, if you have not experienced the salvation that comes from only one source, and that is salvation by means of grace in Messiah Yeshua, that word that you would have to use is sinner. Take out your Bible and look with me, if you would, to the book of Mark and chapter two, the book of Mark and chapter two.
Now, we’ve seen in the first chapter how Messiah has done numerous miracles. How he has healed the sick, cleansed those that had unclean spirits, and also delivered those who were possessed by demons. Also, he healed one who had leprosy and all these things are signs of Messiah. But here’s the problem. All too often we don’t understand the primary work of Messiah. We think about kingdom, well said, but we don’t understand that before the kingdom can come, we need to experience what’s called redemption, and redemption involves dealing with sin.
What we’re going to do in this second chapter of the book of Mark in the first session is we’re going to see Messiah’s authority, and we learned that word has to do with power as well. Messiah’s authority to deal with the problem of sin. So as I said, let’s begin Mark chapter two and verse one. We read here, and he entered into Capernaum again. Now we learned that after many of those miracles that he did on that Sabbath day and after the Sabbath, he became so popular that he departed into a desert place to pray. And then he left Capernaum in order to do what the prophet said, and that was to begin to announce the light of redemption, the illumination of truth concerning God’s plan to establish his kingdom in the areas throughout the Galilee. And after a period of time, now, we don’t know if it was a week or a month, but we read in verse one that he returned again to Capernaum. That place, that having to do with the comfort of God.
He returned there, and after a few days, so apparently he kind of slipped into his home and no one knew it. But after a few days they realize he was there because the second part of that first verse says, and it was heard that he is at home, and I want to emphasize that word is. Now, many English translation will say was, but there’s an emphasis in the Greek texts on the present tense. He is at home, and the present tense is to show something which has a degree of urgency. Something that is vital to do now and not put it off. Verse two, and they gathered. Many, it says, were gathered to his place with the result that there was no room, not even at the door.
So a great multitude of people. He was at home, they came, they entered in, and they filled up that home to the degree that people were lined up outside and no one else could get in. Now that shows a desire for something, and what was he doing? We’ll look at the end of verse two. We read here that he was teaching them the word. Now the first thing I want to say is to put an emphasis on the word. He was teaching, one word in Greek. We have to translate it with a few in English, but he was teaching. It’s in the imperfect tense, and that’s important. Now, all too often when we just look at these things in English, we miss out on a great deal of what the text is trying to communicate to us. He was speaking.
The imperfect tense reveals something. It reveals something that has its origin in the past. It began in the past. It continues on into the presence, the present state, and it can even continue a little bit into the future, but the imperfect tense reveals a set beginning and a set end. So we see here that he was teaching, but this teaching was going to come to an end and oftentimes many of the scholars teach us that the imperfect tense is used in order to give us an anticipation of something that’s going to happen. So he’s going to stop teaching, and something’s going to take place.
Let’s move on. It tells us that he was teaching the word. Now that word word comes from the same word in Greek that we derive the word logic from. Something logical, but it doesn’t mean necessarily what is logical to us, how I see things, how I reckon things to be. But rather it’s from God’s vantage point, his perspective, and what I want to emphasize here is that Messiah was teaching them and he was teaching them from God’s perspective how they needed to see, first and foremost, themselves. Because if you don’t see yourself properly, if you don’t reckon yourself from God’s perspective, you’re never going to have the interest in Messiah, him personally, and what he has done in your behalf. You’ll never take heart to these things.
Verse three, and they came. Who came? They came bringing to him a paralyzed man, and this paralyzed man was being carried or lifted by four. Now, the numbers that we read about in the scripture are important because numbers reveal truth. According to the Hebrew sages, the numbers four, for example, the number four relates to something that has a global significance. Something that that is a message to the world, and what Messiah was teaching and what we’re going to see that his miracle reveals is something that has a global significance. That means this. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live in the world, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re black or white, whether you have one ethnicity or another. None of those things are of issue because this message in this text has a global significance. It’s for everyone in the world.
So we read here that these four men were carrying this paralyzed man. Verse four, and they were not able to come near to him, that is, near to Yeshua. So what did they do? Well, they didn’t give up. They didn’t just sit down and began to complain. They didn’t get angry at those people who were so interested in hearing Messiah that they wouldn’t move and let them in. What did they do? Well, we read in this passage that they went up on the roof, literally. They uncovered the roof. So the roof would have been covered with different materials, with pitch, with tar, with stones, whatever. They removed all of these things, and then we read in the text, and they penetrated through the roof and they let this man down. They lowered this pallet, which of course the man was laying upon.
Now what I want you to see here is two things. First of all, I mean, they didn’t make just a little hole in his roof. This is Messiah’s home where he was staying. They made a large enough hole in order to lay or to lay down, to lower this whole pallet that contained this man. They would have had to went and get tools to uncover the material from the roof. They would have had to work to penetrate it and make it large enough. They would have had to get a rope, and much effort was involved in lowering this man down. Now pay attention to the last part of this verse. It says, and they lowered the lame man who was what? Who was laying on the pallet on that gurney, so to speak, stretcher.
Now, why is that important? Well, remember what we learned about the imperfect tense because that phrase he was laying on that pallet, that phrase is also in the imperfect meaning. He had laid there sometime in the past. There was a definite beginning to his handicap, but it also tells us in the imperfect that there’s going to be a definite ending. And what we learn here is that Messiah stopped speaking to deal with this situation. We should anticipate something’s going to happen, and what is that? Well, now we’re ready for verse five. And Yeshua seen their faith.
Now, here again seeing faith. You say, well I have faith in my heart. If it’s true faith, it is going to manifest itself in deeds. We’re not saved by those deeds, but faith will always manifest itself. It didn’t say he saw the faith of this man, but rather it’s in the plural. He saw their faith, and what did he do? He spoke to the paralyzed man, and what he said was not what anyone was anticipating.
And let me just tell you that more often than not, we are far removed from the mind of God. Why? Because we don’t emphasize the scripture as we should. That is to say we don’t have his perspective. So these people were not anticipating what he was going to say to this man. Look again at that verse, verse five. Messiah addressed them and he said, “Child.” Now I don’t know how it may be translated in your Bible. As I looked through some, it said son, but in Greek we have the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter. And this word child is always put kind of next to the concept of a parent. And what I believe is trying to be revealed to him, probably this man was older in age than the 30 years of Yeshua’s earthly life at that time. So the fact that he said child is highly significant, and it’s trying to show and reveal his identity in the sense that God’s the Father and we are his children.
So he speaks to this paralyzed man and he says, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” And the word forgiven, it’s a passive verb. Why is that important? Something had to cause that to be the reality, the passive moot. Now, why is that important? Well, it’s because we can’t deal with our sins in and of ourselves. We’re going to see in this passage two things in order to teach us that simple truth. Remember what we said earlier. If we were to use one word to describe ourselves before God, how God sees us, what he emphasizes about us, it would be there’s sin in our life. We are a sinner, and the point that’s being emphasized here is you in and of yourself, me in and of myself, we can’t deal with this problem. Our sins have to be forgiven, and that’s what Messiah is coming to do.
You see the people, they wanted the kingdom. They wanted deliverance over their enemies, over Rome. They wanted their problems all solved well and fine, but they missed out on the root of all their affliction, and that was sin because sin made it impossible for the kingdom of God to come. First has to happen redemption, and redemption is the biblical word that relates to the dealing with sin so that sins can be forgiven, sins can be removed. Verse six … And, and this word is the Greek word day. It shows a continuation, but a continuation in kind of a different direction. And what we see here in this different direction is that there were those individuals there that did not get what Messiah was doing.
Verse six, and there were certain ones there of the scribes. The scribes were individuals that had a great amount of knowledge. Now, you can have a great amount of knowledge. That doesn’t mean that you have a great amount of truth. Truth is able to take knowledge and utilize it correctly. So these individuals, they were there, these scribes, and they were sitting and they were, here’s the key. Remember that word that we learned in verse two, this word for logic or the reckonings of God? Well, they were rationalizing things. They were considering these things from a human, logical perspective. And when we try to understand God based upon our vantage point, based upon what seems logical to us, how we reckon things, we’re going to always, always, always mess up.
So they were reasoning in their hearts and they say in verse seven, what is this? Or literally, who is this that he speaks thusly? In other words, how could someone say this? Who could this one be that would say this? Now at first glance, that’s not a bad thing to say. That’s not a bad thing to think about. Why? One of the things that should interest us most, interest everyone, is who is this Yeshua? Who is Jesus of Nazareth? We need to know his identity, remember? In this study we’re focusing in on the person and the work of Messiah. Person, we need to know his identity. So it’s not a bad question, but they really already had the answer that they reasoned among themselves, and because of that they said blasphemy. Who is this one that thusly speaks blasphemy, for who is able to forgive sins except one, the God? Might translate it, the one God.
Now here again, the beginning of that sentence, that verse isn’t bad. The middle is the problem. The end is excellent. Who is able to forgive sins? There’s only one, and that’s God. The problem is because they did not understand the truth concerning Messiah, they did not know the connection between Messiah, the son of God, and God the father. They were not able to comprehend what was going on at this time, and they wrongly felt blasphemy. And this perception of the leadership carried through all the way to Messiah’s final trial that we’ll talk about in several months before the Sanhedrin. So they say, who is able to forgive sin except the one God?
Verse nine, now, verse nine reveals a very important quality about God, and that is that that God meets us where we are. He wants to bring us to faith. He wants to grow us and mature us. And when we have hardships, when we have a lack of understanding, if we’re truly seeking, he’ll meet us where we are. Why do I say that? Look at verse eight. And immediately, Yeshua knew in his spirit that thusly they were reasoning in themselves. And he said to them, what are these things that you are reasoning in your heart?
Now, why is that important? Well, I mean, the few people that are here with us today, I don’t know what you’re thinking. I don’t know what this woman over here might be believing. They may not be thinking anything about what I’m talking about. They’re thinking about what they’re going to be doing later on this afternoon, what they need to do to prepare for the Sabbath in just a few days. Who knows? I can’t read minds, but the scripture tells us here, and immediately Yeshua knew what they were pondering in their hearts. And he says to them, what are those things that you are thinking about? Now let me tell you, that should have captured their attention, and he deals with those thoughts.
They were saying only God can forgive sins. Therefore, this one is a blasphemer. Well, that’s true unless he’s God. So what Messiah is going to do is to show his identity as God with us. Verse nine, he speaks to them and he says, “What is easier? To say to this paralyzed man your sins are forgiven, or to say rise, take up your pallet, that gurney, and walk.” Now, two things need to be pointed out here. Messiah saying, anyone can just say that. That doesn’t mean it, and we learn a very important truth at this time in the gospel of Mark. And that is so many of the miracles that Messiah did, we need to understand them as visual aides. He does a miracle, a specific miracle in a specific way, in order to teach us the confirmation of his truth, what he was sharing.
So he told the people he had the power to forgive sins. That’s why he came into this world, and now a miracle was going to confirm that truth to the people. It’s like a visual aid to help them understand. So he turns to these scribes, and the scribes were experts in biblical interpretation. They knew the scripture. So he says, which is easier? Just to say to someone, your sins are forgiven? That doesn’t mean anything necessarily. Anyone can say that, but can one say that and follow it up by telling one who has been paralyzed for who knows how long, a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. Maybe he’s like that man that we read about in John chapter five who was paralyzed for 38 years.
And this man, as someone is not using his legs, those legs get small. They get thin. They get powerless. They just begin to shrink up. And you can imagine those people saw this man and when they heard him say, “Rise up, take up your pallet, and walk,” they were saying, “That’ll never happen,” but it did. What I want to emphasize is the fact that he says, “Walk.” Now, in Judaism, the term for Jewish law, which is a way of life, a conduct of life, is called the walking. So when he was telling him walk, see, he couldn’t do that before. Why? Well, with Messiah, he didn’t say anything about him being paralyzed. He simply said, “Your sins are forgiven.” And we need to see that the true, true handicaps in our life is not necessarily what may be physically wrong with us. The greatest handicap is the problem of sin.
So he says, “Your sins are forgiven. Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And what happens? Verse ten, but in order, he says, basically, you know what’s easier to do? And now he says, in order that you what? He says, in order that you should know that the son of man has authority. Now, we talked about that word a few weeks ago. The fact that the word authority has to do with power and what Messiah was doing here was showing his authority and his power to not just heal the sick, but on something even more important than that, and that is to forgive sin. And what happens? Well, he says, look again at verse ten. In order that you might know that the son of man has authority to forgive sins upon the Earth, he says to the paralyzed man, “To you I say, rise, take up your pallet, and walk,” meaning go to your home.
And what happened? Last verse, look at verse 12. There’s a change in the grammar. Up until this time he simply says, rise up as in an command. Get up. But in verse 12 we’re going to see that miracle taking place, and there’s a significant grammatical change. We read in verse 12 and the switch is it becomes in the passive. It tells us that this man could not rise up in and of himself. He had to be raised up. And that’s to teach us that same truth about the forgiveness of sins. We can’t earn the forgiveness of sins. We can’t deal with the problem of sin. It has to be dealt for us, and that’s the role of the Messiah. He says, be risen literally. And immediately he took up his pallet and he went, and he did this before all. So all those people, that crowd in his home, those scribes, those religious leaders, experts in the Bible, they all saw that.
And it tells us every one saw it, and they were what as a result? All were amazed. Now pay attention to that word amazed. It’s two Greek words, the word [foreign language 00:25:06] which means out of or from or back, and the word [foreign language 00:25:12] which means to stand. So it means literally to stand back. Kind of an idiom to be taken back, and that’s why so many Bibles translates it to be amazed. But when I looked at that word I was immediately reminded of what took place in Exodus chapter 12 when God manifested himself to the people at Mount Sinai with the giving of the [inaudible 00:25:39] wrote the 10 commandments. And when God manifested himself, what does the scripture say? It tells us that the people stood at a distance. They moved back. So when you look at how that word appears in the scripture in other places, it is to show us a manifestation of God’s presence and that’s what this passage is all about.
Let’s keep reading verse 12. And he was risen and immediately took up this mat and went forth before all of them with the result that all were amazed. And what did they do? Here’s the key. You need to see two things working together. First of all, not just the miracle, but the statement, the proclamation before that which is, your sins are forgiven. And when we experience the forgiveness of sins, what’s the outcome of that? Well, the proper outcome is what we read about at the end of this passage. And they gave glory to God saying, we have never seen anything like this. They behold God at work. And what I want to close with today is simply asking you, have you experienced God at work? Not just before you or around you, but in your life?
That’s what the truth of Messiah is all about. And one of the things we need to realize is that sin, not only sin in this context, caused this man the inability to walk, but sin also caused the people the inability to perceive things correctly. And it’s only through Messiah’s proclamation of sins been forgiven and the power that comes with that proclamation were they able to give glory to God. So let me ask you, are you witnessing the power of God in your life? Have you experienced the forgiveness of sins that you might walk before others and that they might see what God’s done in your life and that they might give thanks to him? Well, we’re out of time. Until next time, may God richly strengthen you in your walk with him.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah, Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.