October 7 (Daily reading: Matthew 8; Mark 2) We have seen that Jesus was God while on this earth. We saw that His name was Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Mt. 1:23), and that He was called the Word, and “the Word was God … And the Word (God) became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14).
Mark 2:1-12 tells a story which gives definitive proof that Jesus was God. Jesus was preaching in a crowded house when four men lowered a paralytic through an opening in the roof. Jesus saw their faith and said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Some of the religious leaders who were present thought to themselves: “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking in their hearts (first proof) and asked them which would be easier to say to the paralytic: “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk.” Before they could answer, he proved (again) that He was God and that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He said to the formerly paralyzed man, “Pick up your pallet and go home.” The man, completely healed, walked out in front of everyone!
The religions leaders set a trap for themselves by asking, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They were exactly right, so when Jesus healed the man, He proved that He was God. They were confronted with a double whammy. They questioned His authority to forgive sins, saying that He was not God. But then He healed the man of his incurable illness, something else that only God could do! Here is the amazing truth: when we invited Jesus into our lives, God Himself took up residence in us! That is something to celebrate every day!
– Al Gary