Jesus is the King. The ultimate authority. The ruler of the universe. The One who redeems humanity. No one else redeems humanity but Him, and by Him we are made one with the sovereign God of all. Jesus fearlessly ministers. Nothing intimidates Him or threatens Him. Nothing impedes Him and nothing restricts Him. He owns the universe and even when inserting Himself into the world filled with the humans He made from delight, He makes it known He is the King over all. We see Jesus’ power as God on display here in chapter 2, where the people see clearly He is the Messiah and redeemer. Mark us with Your heart, Jesus. We want more of You…
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 6: Provocation
Verse 7: Forgiving-Power
Verse 8: Perception
Verse 9: Ease
Verse 10: Public Authority
This week in Marked by Jesus: Mark 2:6-10, we pick up where we left off in the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man. Now, Jesus is about to respond to the man now that he has welcomed the intrusion. But the scribes, or religious folks, do not welcome the scene. A dichotomy begins to form in the gospel of Mark, both in the characters arising and in the conflict at hand. Jesus ministers for the Father God from Heaven, but the ones who claim to minister for God on earth here as scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees do not know Him. This is quite a problem. However, no problem is too big for Jesus and we will see several of these folks come to know Jesus in relationship throughout the Old Testament and choose Him as Lord. Zacchaeus is one of them, and Paul another. But both must forsake the limited and blinded religious system of their community in order to give their lives to Jesus and be free to live their lives for Him. Here in this passage, we will see Jesus assert His authority as the one who forgives sins and He can forgive the sins of anyone He chooses to. Because He is God and He calls the shots. He acts with effortless power and discernment even in his humanity. We will glean more marks of Jesus’ character and divinity as we read through these verses of Mark chapter 2 and get to know our Beloved King.
Verse 6: The Mark of Provocation
“Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts.”
Jesus’ presence provokes a response from every heart in His midst.
In verse 6 we pick up where we left off in verse 5 after a group of friends had cut open the roof to lower their paralyzed friend down into Jesus’ house. Jesus watches with approval and fervor over their faith. But not the others in his midst.
Now, we read about a certain group of people criticizing the scene of healing rather than cheering on the scene of healing. So they question Jesus.
The contrast of their sitting position and their inner churning illuminates a provocation at hand. Jesus’ presence and the friends desire to see Jesus heal, provokes the scribes internally. It provokes them not positively, but negatively because of the inner resistance to Jesus.
Jesus provokes a reaction when He enters a space.
The ones who love Jesus react with love and desire for more.
The ones who don’t like Jesus react with disdain and questioning. Questioning of the cynical sort. But their location inside the house is not in a position of seeing to assist the friends who just entered the house unannounced. Their position is in that of a sitting position where they are refusing to help in any way, even though they could. Jesus as provoked them. But it reveals their apathy for the supernatural. Apathy towards the things of God.
Don’t let apathy sneak into your heart!
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Romans 12:11
Your fervor is contagious.
Your zeal is enhancing.
Your passion is necessary.
Keep your Spirit enflamed with the Spirit of the Lord and His love.
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” 2 Timothy 1:6
The apostle Paul reminded Timothy in his letter Second Timothy to stay passionate with zeal for the Lord. This is a part of a person’s anointing when it comes to being indwelled by the Lord.
We need to keep the fire burning.
Love God and love people with supernatural love that exceeds anything the world could display or give. Don’t ever lose that fire. Apathy is detrimental to the person and to the world.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Apathy leads to a hard-heart.
Apathy leads to cynical questioning.
The scribes were not doing anything to help the man. They were “sitting.” And sitting reveals apathy. Sitting reveals lethargy. Sitting reveals a lack of concern for the man who needed help. There is a time to sit but there is also a time to stand. You will know the difference between the two in the appropriate context.
Is somebody sitting when they should be standing to fight for what is right and true? Sitting when you should be standing does not accomplish the purposes of God. Sitting when you should be standing is antagonistic towards the heart of God. Sitting reveals dormancy.
Stand up for something!
It’s time to act on the truth in front of you and do something about the problem presented to you.
Deciding to do nothing enrages a holy God who asks us to act on His behalf.
“And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and follow My ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:27
God gives you a new heart so that you will walk. Do. Act. Move. Don’t sit on the problem. Do something!
Jesus does something here in this passage. Jesus heals the man in need on the spot and He does not care who is against Him in the room. He does it anyway.
Is someone sitting and not standing up for what is right?
Is someone ignoring a need?
Is someone questioning you?
Is someone apathetic towards the Kingdom of God?
Speak about Jesus anyways.
God needs you to stand up for His sons and daughters.
“Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
When you stand, it will provoke a reaction from others but you be calm and steady. Confident and empowered by the Spirit of God. Stand strong.
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Heaven stands. Regardless of who is against God. Jesus is God and He is still going to reign and rule despite the forces of darkness against Him. He already did. He won the battle of good and evil before time ever began because He was destined before the foundation of the world to be slain as the innocent and pure Lamb of God.
Stand for Christ. Stand for something.
Verse 7: The Mark of Forgiving-Power
“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus acts with forgiving-power. The right to forgive sins. The power to redeem a soul.
In verse 7, the scribes hear something different from Jesus even in their own misunderstanding of who He is. They hear authority. They hear a God-level voice. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” they ask in verse 7. This is a power reserved for the Almighty. And Jesus is just that.
When Jesus speaks, His power is noticeable. Instantly. Again, it provokes a reaction. It provokes spirits in the proximity to Him. It provokes a soul to either choose Him or defy Him. And to those who choose Him… He gives His life. And He forgives all their sins to make them holy and blameless forever.
“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence.” Ephesians 1:4
Jesus is marked by forgiving-power. He carries it. This is the mark of the Savior. The mark of the healer. The redeemer. The Son of God.
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
The scribes in the room call Jesus as just a “man.” But He was not just “a man.” He is God.
“For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” Colossians 2:9
Jesus is God.
Jesus carries the power to forgive sins. He is the only one who can forgive sins. For the scribes to be blinded to Jesus’ identity reveals they do not know God either. Because if they truly knew who God was and that He could forgive sins, they would have known that this Jesus who is now forgiving sins is the prophesied Messiah. But they didn’t. Why? They refused to have an intimate relationship with Yahweh. And they quenched the Spirit.
When you quench the Spirit of God, you cannot see Him.
Don’t quench the Spirit of God or you will miss His presence.
God wants you to see Him!
When evil voices speak about a holy God, they slander His name and deem Him a blasphemer, which is ironic because He is God, after all. He wrote the Bible. He calls the shots. He makes the rules. But the spirit of evil always looks at something innocent and pure, and calls it the opposite. Don’t ever listen to that kind of source. Evil is evil and good is good.
The word “blaspheming” used in the Greek text here in verse 7 is “blasphēmei.” It means to slander, speak evil of, revile or defame. It is impossible for God to speak against Himself. Therefore, it is impossible for Jesus to be a blasphemer. Every single utterance that projects from Jesus’ voice is the voice of a holy God and echoes that holy voice of His divine being.
It is impossible to blaspheme His own being, because He is God. Therefore, the scribes are ironically the ones who are blaspheming here, because they slander Jesus and assert false allegations and a false identity onto Him. But Jesus keeps on what He came to do.
The scribes do know one thing right: only God can forgive sins. The scribes just don’t have the understanding or willingness to admit that Jesus is God. You must know who God is in order to speak for God. Jesus is the exact representation of God on earth and the one we follow in every way.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3
Jesus is glorious… beautiful… regal… scintillating… luminous… loving… King. He is the King.
Jesus will reign as King forever.
forever You reign
forever You save
the souls of Your chosen ones
Your holy ones
Your Beloved ones
whom You destined from the womb
to know you and be loved by You
our hearts are in awe of You
Verse 8: The Mark of Perception
“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?”
Jesus discerns everything around Him.
Verse 8 says this of Jesus: “perceiving in His Spirit…”. Perception is an act of the Spirit that causes you to see something beyond the tangible.
The word “perceiving” in the Greek text is the word, “epignous.” This means to realize, to know accurately, or understand deeply. But how can Jesus understand something so deeply that has not yet been said by the scribes out loud? Because He has perception.
Perception gives you spiritual insight into hearts, souls, matters, and realities around you.
Perception causes Jesus to confront wrong thinking here with the scribes.
Why are you questioning Me? Jesus asked.
Jesus knows when a person is questioning Him. He responds with bewilderment here in verse 8 even though he knows why the man is questioning Him. He does not believe He is the Messiah. Yet He asks anyways… why are you questioning Me? As if to point out the illogical response of the person’s doubt.
Are you questioning Jesus about something?
We must remember Jesus knows every detail of our lives and He knows the exact, right way to carry out His purpose in it. Jesus can be trusted even if the logic does not make sense to us.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Our way becomes clear when we entrust our minds to an all-knowing God. Then we can “know accurately” with God-given perception because He imparts that perception into our minds.
“We have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
Jesus is perceptive. He picks up on people’s emotions, behaviors, thoughts, body language and demeanors. He can tell what kind of spirit is lingering in a place and He has the wisdom to know what to say and what to do in the moment.
Perception is a fruit of the spirit in your life. Giving you insight into the unseen, abstract goings-on around you.
Perception may prompt you to ask questions but it will be from a place of purity not a place of evil.
There is a difference between asking a question and questioning. To ask a question is to desire to know more. To question someone without intent to know more, like is being done here by the scribes, is to undermine the one who spoke and cast doubt on their words. The scribe hopes he can undermine Jesus’ authority in front of everyone else. Jesus will not stay silent as the man casts doubt on Him in front of everybody, lest it lead others astray and make them doubt. So Jesus confronts the wrong thinking right here and He does so loudly and immediately to show that He is has the authority to do what needs to be done. Not them. Jesus is God. Jesus is the final word.
Ask God for perception and He will give this blessing.
Verse 9: The Mark of Ease
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?”
The King of the universe rules with ease.
Being God is effortless for God.
Jesus tells the scribes, “which is easier to say…?”. This is a clever response because scribes knew a lot about writing and word choice. They would knew exactly what He meant and the time saved by using the most simple and easiest choice of words when speaking. This is not always needed because there is a time for a plethora of words, imagery and writing. But scribes understood how to write in a way that saved time and made it easier. Jesus always knows how to answer each person according to who they are. They don’t say another word to Jesus after this.
Jesus rules with ease and His ways reflect that. Even when His ways appear complex and straining, for God it is effortless.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Nothing is too hard for God.
God reigns with ease.
God reigns with strength engrained in Him. He needs nothing to enhance Him or help Him or assist Him in His dominion as being God. Thus, He asserts His power with ease and speaks with ease. He verifies His authority with ease and confronts wrong thinking with ease. It is never hard for Him to perform a miracle. It is never hard for Him to clarify false words being spoken. He simply says what is true. Jesus acts because He is God.
“Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?” Job 38:36-38
In this passage of Job’s Old Testament book, God speaks in depth about the heights of His power as supreme over all. Nobody can rule like He can and nobody can be God except for Him. And it’s easy for Him.
This is the mark of ease: effortless power.
God does not need to strain to be God. He does not need to strive to be God. He does not need to train to be God. He already is, always was and always will be God.
When he speaks to the man questioning Him, He does not get flustered He simply answers Him with ease while simultaneously pointing out the ease of His own methods. Because He has the power to speak with this level of authority.
He asserts His own divinity as God when He says, “Your sins are forgiven,” which is why the scribe becomes enraged. The scribe does not like it that Jesus is speaking as if He is God. But He is God.
Let Jesus be God.
He has power and jurisdiction to handle situations how He wants to handle them and speak God-level decrees. Humans cannot say to another human, your sins are forgiven unless in tandem with explaining that this forgiveness comes from Jesus if you ask Him to forgive you because He died for you. But Jesus can directly say to anyone He wants to… your sins are forgiven. Don’t question Jesus. His verdict is the right and true verdict. The only one that carries the final word.
Verse 10: The Mark of Public Authority
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic…”
Jesus rules with public authority. He acts with public power. He heals with public audacity. He teaches with public confidence. Jesus came to seek and save the lost as Luke 19:10 will quote of Jesus in his gospel narrative, and Jesus will not allow any contrary voice to limit that mission and goal.
Jesus makes it known He has divine authority here in verse 10.
He says, “But that you may know…” in verse 10.
Jesus needs you to know He is the One with supreme authority.
He carries divine power.
Jesus is the final authority. He carries ultimate authority. He proved ultimate authority. He reigns with ultimate authority. No one is higher than Jesus Christ.
In Revelation chapter 5, the elders weep because no one can open the scrolls in the vision John has when called up to Heaven. But then comes the Lamb! The Lion of Judah. Jesus…
“And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
Jesus is a warrior.
Jesus is fierce.
Weep no more, for Jesus has all power to open any scroll and break any seal.
Jesus can do anything.
Jesus literally conquered the world, and He created the world to be conquered by good so that evil can be separated from it. His Heavenly dwelling place will host goodness forever where darkness cannot enter and the devil has no access. This eternal life and perfection of habitation is all attributed to Jesus Christ, the one who accomplished the required act for giving humans this access with God: an innocent sacrifice.
Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us to be given eternal life with Him forever.
“Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’” Acts 4:10-11
Thus, He alone has authority to forgive sins, and He does when a person chooses to have a relationship with Him. Nobody has the right to condemn you. Not when the One has the right to condemn you actually chooses not to condemn you at all. Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Don’t condemn others and do not condemn yourself. When you carry the Spirit of Christ, you are forgiven and liberated into becoming more like Christ every day and His love is the transformational power inside of you producing fruit in your life like Galatians 5:22-23 says. Any voice that tries to condemn you for things you don’t deserve to be condemned for is antithetical to Christ. Stay close to those who carry the Spirit of Christ in them and thus, carry His kindness, love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion.
The disciples would go on to carry the power of healing and seeing people set free by the blood of Jesus in the book of Acts. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and message of eternal life. Their faith and boldness compelled them to see mass change and salvation as they shared the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They would even be able to testify to people’s sins being forgiven. All because Jesus offers this forgiveness to all people and asks us to give others this freedom to receive it.
Jesus grants you public authority to move, act and speak for Him because of His anointing on you and this anointing is irrevocable. In Luke 10:19 Jesus tells His disciples, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Be bold in Jesus’ power! A power that marks you with supernatural strength and resources to accomplish your purpose for Him.
Jesus gives you power because of His act of atonement for us on the cross.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Jesus is the forgiver. The healer. The lover. Come to Him… let Him love your soul and be marked by the King of glory.
My Favorite Takeaway From The Passage
“Why do you question these things in your hearts?” Mark 2:8
You are The King. The Lord. The lover of my soul. Without a question Your skies uphold. Without a doubt Your love was shown in highest thresholds of gold in Your perfect affection for us. His heart was given for us. Completely. Passionately. Relentlessly.
Embrace His love for you.
Jesus said, “Why do you question these things in your heart?” Mark 2:8
His love is trustworthy.
You don’t need to question the King who calls you Beloved.
His love is infinitely yours.
We love Your love, Jesus…
Jesus, You are King of everything. You’re good at everything. Good at leading us and good at holding us. Good at loving us and good at keeping us in the palm of Your hand. We don’t have to question where the path will land. It’s perfect. Branded with Heaven’s mark of Jesus’ dreams and Jesus’ hands choosing You as His own Beloved.
God’s Beloved always encounters the highest love of Heaven.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
Do you want to see God?
Your heart of passion for Jesus shows You more of Him.
Ask for more of Him…
God wants you to encounter more of Him… in your heart, soul, mind, body… be called His Beloved.
“I belong to my Beloved and my Beloved belongs to me.” Song of Solomon 6:3
Let Jesus be your lover.
“You are beautiful My love, as Tirzah, as lovely as Jerusalem, as majestic as troops with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:4
Ask for more of your lover.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
Ask to know your lover.
Don’t ask in order to question and doubt Him. Ask in order to connect with Him. To discover Him. Ask Him about Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself. Ask to see Him.
Ask Him how He wants to be loved.
“But one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Jesus is the best part. The reason for living. The reason for loving. Hold on to Him forever…
Your life moves with purpose because of Jesus Christ as King of your heart.
Your life is the life He knew you would live before time began. He holds you with 100% assurance.
Choose Jesus in return to be the first lover in your life. You won’t have to question if He loves you. You won’t have to wonder if He will answer back. You don’t have to strive to earn His love. He already gives it before you ask… He’s a strong and courageous lover. He knows how to love you. Every time. In every way. At every moment and every stage of your life’s unfolding.
Entrust your life to Jesus. Then you will experience the most breathtaking, joyful life He could bring… and no suffering nor persecution can strip you of that joy. It’s yours… love will always be yours.
I’ll never have to question if you will choose me. You already have. I already gave my heart to you.
my heart belongs to You
forever belongs to You
My King of kings
My Lord of lords
my love belongs to You
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”