Saturday, 25 April 2009

Mark 2:1-10 - The Son of God

Who is Jesus? That's the theme of the book of Mark. Mark tells us in verse 1 that the good news is a person. The good news is Jesus, the Son of God. From heaven, the voice announces it at his baptism.

But, it's going to take the whole book to see the disciples understanding that fact and its implications. The mid-way point is where they finally see who he is - and then they have to start a new course of instruction, to understand what it is that the Son of God has come to do. We're still near the start of that  process.

When Jesus healed the paralytic, he showed that the scribes' wonderings in their heart were redundant. It was easier to say that a man's sins were forgiven - because there could be no proof. But it was easier to heal a man than to take away his sins - prophets had in past days done the former, but only God could do the latter. What Jesus actually did rendered such speculations totally academic. At his bare word, he both forgave the man's sins and restored him to total health. To do that was the prerogative only of God. No prophet could clam the authority to forgive sins - and God would never work a miracle to authenticate a prophet who had strayed by claiming the power to do so. By doing both in sequence, Jesus showed who he was; no mere prophet, but God in the flesh, the heaven-sent Messiah. His naked word has authority in the physical realm and the spiritual. The same one who commands things that are not to be, was the one who now stood before them.

That's why there's no point in only following Jesus a little. It's got to be all or nothing. Either Jesus is God and is to be worshipped and served with all our hearts, or he is nothing at all. He's not some guru, imam or Rabbi to be followed to a certain extent. If he is meant to be followed at all, he is meant to be followed totally. That's the stark truth that then faced those murmuring scribes on that day - and us today also.

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