Mark 2: 1-5
Instead of saying, “Rise up, be healed,” he says, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus knows something the man does not know — that he has a much bigger problem than his physical condition. Jesus is saying to him, “I understand your problems. I have seen your suffering. I am going to get to that. But please realize that the main problem in a person’s life is never his suffering; it is his sin.”
When the Bible talks about sin, it is not just referring to the bad things we do. It is not just lying or lust or whatever the case may be — it is ignoring God in the world he has made; it is rebelling against him by living without reference to him. It is saying, “I will decide exactly how I live my life.” And Jesus says that is our main problem.
The Bible says that our real problem is that every one of us is building our identity on something besides Jesus. The problem is that we are looking to something besides Jesus as a saviour. Almost always, when we first go to Jesus saying, “This is my deepest wish,” his response is that we need to go a lot deeper than that. The fact that we thought getting our deepest wish would heal us would save us — that was the problem. We had to let Jesus be our Saviour.
Mark 2: 5-12
The penetrating question that Jesus asks them — “Which is easier, to say to the paralytics, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Get up, take up your mat, and walk?’ — has been puzzled over for twenty centuries. Many biblical scholars say that here, as early as chapter 2 of Mark, the shadow of the cross falls across Jesus’ path. Jesus knows what the religious leaders are thinking, so he knows that if he begins to let on that he is not just a miracle worker but also the Saviour of the world, they will eventually kill him.
We will discover that in the process of dealing with what we thought was our deepest wishes, Jesus has revealed an even deeper, truer one beneath — and it is for Jesus himself. Jesus will not just have granted that true deepest wish, he will have fulfilled it.
Note from King’s Cross: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God