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Mark 2:1-17

Author: Kent Berghuis

Are You Sinful Enough to need Jesus?
Mark 2:1-17

''It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." 
--Mark 2:17

Introduction:  How is sin like disease?

Main thought: If you wish to be forgiven, you must recognize your need of forgiveness and believe that 
Jesus can and will forgive.

I.  Jesus has the power to forgive sins (1-12).

	A.  Forgiveness requires faith (1-5).
		--The paralytic and his 4 friends showed Jesus their faith.
		--They made the effort to bring their friend to Jesus in the first place.
		--Blocked from the house, they doubled their efforts, going through the roof.

	B.  Forgiveness comes from God alone(6-7).
		--God is the one our sins offend, and only he can declare us forgiven.
		--The scribes are right in their theology, but wrong in their application; Jesus is not 
			blaspheming because God has given him the authority to forgive sins.

	C.  Forgiveness is more important than physical healing (8-12).
		--Forgiving sins is a hard thing to do.
		--Healing, while miraculous, is actually less a miracle than forgiveness.
		--Jesus' healing of the paralytic points to his authority to forgive sins.
		--Jesus' forgiveness of sins points to the future healing of all believers.

II.  Jesus has the desire to forgive those who know they are sinners (13-17).

	A.  Jesus calls people who are disliked to follow him (13-14).
		--Levi works a toll-booth for Herod at the border town of Capernaum
		--Tax men made a living by going over their quota of taxes; they turned over the quota to 
			the king, and kept whatever else they could make.
		--The tax profession was seen as greedy, traitorous, and dishonest.

	B.  Jesus offers his friendship and forgiveness to sinners of all kinds (15-17).
		--Jesus is "the friend of sinners", which he shows by eating with them and letting them 
			follow him.
		--The scribes see themselves as different from these sinners, and question Jesus' decision
		     to associate with them.
		--Jesus came to heal the sick and to forgive sinners.  This implies that the 
			scribes simply don't recognize their own sin, and remain unforgiven.

Conclusion:  Who do you identify with most in these stories?  The paralytic and his friends, who would 
dig through a roof to get to Jesus?  Levi, who would leave behind his lucrative dishonest career and 
invite his outcast friends to Jesus?  Or the scribes, who constantly question the motives of people who 
reach out to sinners and extend God's forgiveness?


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