Healing and Forgiveness – Jesus Can Forgive You

Shared on May 5, 2024

Join Pastor McCrary for this week’s Sunday School lesson where we take a look at Jesus forgiving and healing a paralytic. This lesson covers the extraordinary efforts of getting the paralytic to Jesus. It also takes a look at Jesus asking whether or not it is difficult for one to be forgiven and healed.


Our lesson this week takes us into the final month of lessons for the spring quarter.  Throughout this quarter, we have been taking a look at Jesus and His authority over all things.  Jesus has shown His authority over what we go through physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Jesus has shown His authority over nature.  Jesus has even shown His authority over death and resurrection.

In our lesson this week, Jesus will show the religious leaders, once again, that He has divine authority.  Jesus has shown this authority to them with His authority over the law and the Sabbath.  In our lesson this week, Jesus shows His authority of divine forgiveness.  This authority is one that we should most definitely appreciate.

Ministering in Capernaum

Unlike the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Mark’s gospel, like John’s gospel, does not cover the birth of Christ.  John opened his gospel speaking about Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist and starting His earthly ministry.  Mark’s gospel opens in a similar manner covering the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus’ ministry began in Galilee with him preaching repentance for the kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1:14).  Jesus called His first four disciples to follow Him and they went into Capernaum where He began to teach and heal.  Some of those that Jesus healed included Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30-31).  You may be wondering to yourself, who was Peter married to?  Scripture does not tell us.  Some suggest that Peter may have been a widower.

Jesus had also healed many who were demon-possessed and had been sick with diseases (Mark 1:32-33).  So, why do I make mention of this?  Well, I want to first show you that word was definitely getting around about Jesus and what He could do.  Also, I want to show you that Jesus, from the beginning, was ministering to glorify the Lord and fulfill the Father’s will. 

Healing and Forgiving the Sick

Our lesson opens with Jesus entering Capernaum some time after cleansing a leper (Mark 1:40-41; 2:1).  As we often see, many immediately heard where Jesus was and went to Him.  Mark 2:1 is one of those verses that I don’t think we give as much attention as we should. 

Excited to be with Jesus 

Think about it for a moment, why were the people there?

It is highly likely that some were there to be healed.  Others may have been there because they had heard about Jesus and all He could.  When they heard about all the wonderful things that Jesus was doing, it was likely they wanted to see Him for themselves.  I wish more people had this approach today when it comes to the Lord.  

God is still healing and performing miracles today of which I am certainly one.  God is still blessing everybody today.  Yet, He is taken for granted.  The Lord calls out today and only a minority listens for His voice.  Churches are becoming more and more empty.  There is a lack of hunger and thirst for going to God as we turn to others or to material things.  

Just take a look at how hungry these people were just to be with Jesus.  There were so many people there to see Jesus that there was not enough room to fit everyone in.  I remember being in church many years ago and how there was passion for God in the building.  One certain revival I remember the lights went out from a storm and we kept on worshiping.

Genuine faith of the people

When I speak of genuine, sincere faith, I want you to understand that I am speaking of faith in its purest form.  In its purest form, there is excitement in faith.  In its purest form, there is joy in faith.  In its purest form, there is great hope in faith.  When one is moving in sincere faith, there is nothing that can get in their way.

You will see what I mean about genuine faith by taking a look at the people the desired to bring a paralytic man to Jesus.  Since there were so many people in the house, scripture tells us that they had to break through the roof to lower the man to Jesus (Mark 2:3-4).  While all of this was taking place, Jesus had stopped teaching as He marveled at the faith of the people.  

What a moment this is in scripture where man’s faith causes God to pause and marvel!  There are a few moments I can think of off the top of my head where Jesus marvels at faith.  The one I want to mention today is the gentile woman who came to Him desperate for Him to help her daughter (Matt. 15:21-28).  Jesus healed her daughter without ever going to see her because her faith was so great.

Jesus saw the people’s faith and said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you (Mark 2:5).”  Was the paralytic healed because of the people’s faith?  Not necessarily.  You see, it was their faith that brought the man to where Jesus could minister to him directly.  I want to mention this because I have to be clear that only my faith can save me.

You see, my faith cannot heal nor save you.  I tell those who come to me for prayer all the time that they must also pray for themselves.  To be clear, I don’t say that because I don’t think my prayer will work for them.  No, I say that because my faith can only get you to the door of the Lord.  You must enter and go before His throne yourself in order to be saved.

Jesus’ authority to forgive and heal

I want to touch more on that thought in a moment, but I must touch on what happens after Jesus forgives the paralytic.  Scripture tells us that Jesus’ favorite people were in the house.  Yes, I say “favorite people” sarcastically because it’s the religious leaders.  It honestly amazes me every time I read the gospels just how often these men were around Jesus!

Were the religious leaders there to learn?  You would hope so, right?  But, they were there more so to watch rather than learn.  There are those who go to church for the same reason:  to people watch.  Worship service should be about you being lifted up in your soul through learning and being encouraged.

The religious leaders were thinking to themselves, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this?  Who can forgive sins but God alone (Mark 2:6-7)?”  As we have seen recently, the religious leaders were hung up on power and authority.  If I had to paraphrase their thoughts, they were saying to themselves, “who does this guy think he is?”

Sensing what the religious leaders were thinking, Jesus asked, “Why do you reason about these things (Mark 2:8)?”  It was time for Jesus to teach the first of many important lessons to the religious leaders.  Jesus asked them, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’ (Mark 2:9)?”

What would you have answered?  For the religious leaders this would have been a difficult question to answer.  They have already shown that they thought forgiving people is only something God can do.  Then, the man was paralyzed so they would have thought it would take a miracle to make him walk.  

Jesus has taught us that we should forgive those who come to us and repent.  So, we certainly have the power to forgive others.  Yet, forgiveness does not come easily does it?  We know we should forgive others but many of us just can’t let go of being wronged.  Also with all of our advancements in technology today, it’s still hard for us to make paralytics walk.

Is it impossible for God to forgive and heal?  Well, Jesus had already forgiven the paralytic.  To show His authority, Jesus said to the paralytic to arise and to take his bed and walk (Mark 2:10-11).  This is where we see whether or not it was the faith of the people that healed the man.  You see, the paralytic man had to move for himself in faith to get up and walk.

The first step to being saved is for one’s to choose for themselves to be saved.  Again, I can bring you to the throne of grace, but you have to choose whether you will rise and walk.  The paralytic immediately got up and walked— he had made his choice and was saved.  Regardless of the sin that can paralyze you in your soul, you can overcome it by trusting in the power of Christ.

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