The Healing of Forgiveness – Gospel in Life

The Healing of Forgiveness

Tim Keller |  February 12, 2006

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  • Repentance
  • Forgiveness
Mark 2:1-12
RS 190-06


The book of Mark was written to make sure we always had access to what the real Jesus actually said and did. In this sermon, we see three different parties react to Jesus. What is Mark doing in these verses? 1) Through the paralyzed man, he’s trying to challenge us; 2) Through our own confusion about how this fits in with the rest of the Bible, he’s trying to comfort us; 3) And through the leaders’ shock and anger, he’s trying to empower us.

Mark 2:1–12

In the book of Mark, there’s this incredible story where Jesus heals a paralyzed man. People had all kinds of reactions to this – some were amazed, others were confused, and a few were even angry. This story really shows how determined the man was to meet Jesus and how knowing Jesus can change your life. Most importantly, it reminds us that only Jesus can give us real satisfaction and forgiveness, and He can deeply change what our hearts want.

2. Through our own confusion about how this fits in with the rest of the Bible, he’s trying to comfort us

It might seem strange that Jesus forgives people without them saying they’re sorry first. But Jesus knows what’s going on in our hearts. He’s always ready to show kindness and mercy, even if we just have a tiny bit of desire for it. He even makes sure there are chances for us to experience this kindness. Believing in Him isn’t something we have to work really hard at – it’s a gift that Jesus gives us when we look for Him and ask. So, if someone is having a hard time believing, we should tell them to look for Jesus and ask for belief.

3. Through the religious leaders’ shock and anger, he’s trying to empower us

When Jesus forgave the man’s sins, He was saying something huge – that He’s God, and all sins are really against Him. He asked a tough question about whether it’s easier to forgive sins or heal someone who’s sick. Forgiving someone for real is hard! But Jesus healed the man and showed He was moving towards His own sacrifice. This proves His never-ending, perfect love. And it’s this love that has the power to change our hearts.



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