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Mark 2:1-12


Intro: As we learned in Mark chapter 1, Jesus began His very public ministry in the city of Capernaum. He entered the town and immediately began to preach about the Kingdom of God. In that chapter, Jesus also demonstrated His great power. He cast out demons and healed diseases of every sort. From Mark 1:32, we learn that Jesus must have healed nearly every sick person in that town!

        His miracles eclipsed His message! The people flocked to Jesus to see what He would do next. Each miracle left them hungry for more. To escape this frenzy, Jesus and His four disciples left Capernaum and began a preaching tour through Galilee, 1:38-39.

        Now, that preaching tour is over and Jesus and His men return to Capernaum. This town was an important place in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. Capernaum served as the northern headquarters for His ministry. It was here that He put His great healing power on public display. It was here that He preached in power. It was here, in Capernaum, that Jesus Christ made His very public claims to be the Messiah. But, Capernaum had a problem!

        This city valued the miracles more than the message or the Messiah. They wanted the spectacular and they rejected our Lord’s offer of salvation. As a result, Jesus later pronounced a curse upon this city, Luke 10:13-15. (Ill. Those who have received much from the hand of the Lord and rejected it will face the greater judgment, Luke 12:48. Ill. I would rather go to Hell from anywhere than from a pew in a Bible believing Baptist church!)

        So, Jesus and His men return to Capernaum. We are told that they enter into “the house”. This is probably a reference to the home of Peter, 1:29. They entered town with no fanfare, but word soon got out that Jesus was back in Capernaum. When the people heard that the Miracle Worker had returned, they flocked to the house where He was staying.

        (Ill. Churches have to deal with all kinds of rumors. Most of the rumors started on churches are negative. The greatest rumor that can get out on a church is for people to start hearing the rumor that Jesus is in a church. When that word gets out, people will start coming! Jesus has drawing power, John 12:32. When He is lifted up and the word gets out, the people will come!)

        Jesus is in the house and the crowds have come to see Him and to see what He will do. I want to share the events of this passage and preach on When Jesus Is In The House. Amazing things will happen when Jesus is in the house! Let’s look into this wonderful scene and watch as the events of that day unfold.



A. Anyone can draw a crowd! Wrestlers, celebrities, musicians and preachers can all draw crowds. It’s what you do with that crowd that makes the difference.

        Jesus could have used this opportunity to increase His celebrity in Capernaum. He could have performed a few miracles and the people would have been eating out of His hands. After all, that is probably why they came. They came to see the Lord work some more miracles. They came to see Him do the extraordinary. Imagine their surprise and disappointment when Jesus began to preach to them! (Ill. Some folks think a service that includes preaching is a routine, boring service. They exalt the times when there is no preaching. Shame on us for our shallowness!)

B.  It is clear to me that to Jesus, the message was far more important that the miracles. We do not know what the Lord preached that day, but we can safely say that He probably reached back into the Old Testament and preached about the same things He had preached the first time He was in town, Mark 1:14. He probably preached about the Kingdom of God, the power of God and the salvation of God, Luke 4:18-19. Surely, Jesus preached the central message of the Bible: salvation by faith through grace!

C.  Preaching was central to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. And, the same should be true for the church! I love good singing; I love testimony meetings; I love special services; but nothing can take the place of preaching!

        Preaching is God’s chosen method for reaching into the hearts of the lost with the Gospel of grace, Rom. 10:13-15; 1 Cor. 1:21. Nothing should ever be allowed to crowd out the message!

        (Ill. We should pray that our church will stay focused on the message. It would be easy to slack up and back off so that we could entice people to come to our church. The primary business of this church is not to fill our pews or our bank accounts. Our primary business is the proclamation of our Lord’s message. That is what we are to be about! That is our business and it is to be our only business! Thank God for an old-fashioned, Bible-believing church where preaching is still the centerpiece of every service!)



A.  Right in the middle of this preaching service, something spectacular happens. Four men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They believe that if they can get this man to Jesus, then Jesus can heal his body. When they arrive at the house, the crowd is so large that they cannot get into the house through the door.

        Now, houses in that day were usually constructed with flat roofs. A set of stairs on the side of the house allowed access to the roof, which was used much like we use a deck in our day. These roofs were usually made by laying timbers across the top of the house. These timbers were then covered by a layer of branches. This was covered by a layer of clay tiles, and finally, a thick layer of mud was placed on the very top. This was rolled and pressed until it was very hard and rain proof.

        So, here is the humorous scene, Jesus is preaching in the house, these four men carry their friend up the stair case onto the roof of the house. Once there, they begin to dig through the roof, until they have made an opening large enough to lower their friend into the house.

        Can you imagine the scene in the house? As Jesus preaches, the sound of digging is heard overhead. After a short time, dirt and wood begin to fall on the crowd assembled below. Then, blue sky breaks through the darkness and a man is lowered into the room.

        I wonder what Peter is thinking. He probably didn’t like the thought of seeing His house torn up. He may have wondered if his homeowners insurance would cover the costs of repair. But, Peter couldn’t stop it! The same crowd that kept the four men and the paralyzed man out of the house kept Peter in the house!

        I wonder what Jesus thought. I imagine there is a smile on His face as He realizes what is happening. I am sure that He is amused by the whole thing.

I wonder what the crowd thought. Surely, this had never happened in a worship service before! They were no doubt amazed at what was taking place.


(Ill. It is always a blessing when the Lord invades our order of worship and takes over the service! I do not understand how He moves, but I am glad that He does! Something wonderful always takes place when Jesus is in the house! It makes all the difference when He is present in a service.)


(Ill. Let me say a word about these four men who brought their friend to Jesus. These men were willing to do whatever it took to get their friend to the Lord.

        They dared to do what was difficult. It was not easy to carry that man up on the roof. It was a difficult task. The Bible says that “Jesus saw their faith”. Faith is something that works in the heart and then it works its way to the outside, James 2:18; Eph. 2:10. A faith that won’t put you to work for Jesus probably won’t take you to Heaven either!

        They dared to do the unusual. They were will to think outside the box! For them, it was not business as usual, it took ingenuity to think of breaking up the roof to get that man to Jesus!

        They dared to do the costly. They might have had to pay for the cost of the repairs to Peter’s roof.

        These men were willing to do whatever it took to bring that man to the Lord. That same heart needs to beat within us! As long as it is biblical, we should shy away from nothing to bring people to Jesus!)


B.  The paralyzed man is lowered into the service. Jesus witnesses the extent and depth of their faith in Him and His ability. Then, Jesus does something amazing! He says, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

        Wait a minute! This man was brought to Jesus for healing and Jesus deals with his sins. Why?

        It seems clear that this man was paralyzed because of some spiritual problem in his life. Doctors have determined that over 50% of all our illnesses are the result of emotional problems! This man was sick because of sin.

        Surely, this man, the four who brought him and the crowd thought that his greatest problem was the paralysis. But, Jesus knew the truth! Sin was his greatest problem and Jesus dealt with it first! By the way, sin is our greatest problem too! All too often we are focused on the physical and we never give any thought to the spiritual. We spend all our time trying to be healthy, wealthy and wise and we never stop to think about where we stand in the eyes of the Lord.

        The greatest need in your life right now is not a physical need! It doesn’t’ matter what you are facing, your greatest need has always been, and will always be, spiritual! And, the only place you will find help in Jesus Christ!

C.  Let’s examine the Lord’s words to this man in detail for a moment. Jesus said “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” That man didn’t realize the full impact of what Jesus was saying to him, but those were the greatest words he had ever heard!

·         Son – The word translated “son” is the same word that is often translated “child”. It is a word that conveys the idea of tenderness. When Jesus spoke to this man He spoke to Him tenderly and He spoke to him as a son. This is a word that speaks of family!

        That is what happens when a lost sinner meets the Master. That lost one, like the prodigal of Luke 15, is taken in by the Father. That one who was lost is dressed in the Father’s garments; receives the ring of reconciliation; the shoes of a son and takes his seat at the table as a member of the family. Just like Mephibosheth, 2 Sam. 9, the lost one is treated like a son.

        Hallelujah, if you are saved, you are a child of God, 1 John 1:3! You are His child now!

·         Forgiven – This word implies that the man’s guilt, shame and sin has been taken away! The first word brought him into the family; the second brought him into fellowship!

        It is sin, in all of its ugliness and horror that stands between the sinner and God, Isa. 59:2. But, when a lost person comes to Jesus for salvation, all their sins are instantly and eternally forgiven, Psa. 103:12; 1 John 1:7. They are brought into perfect fellowship with the Heavenly Father! What a truth! What a blessing!

D.  Thank God that our Savior has the power to forgive our sin, erase our past and do away with our guilt. Have you experienced His forgiving power? Have you ever heard Him call you “son”?



(Ill. Jesus has just given this poor paralyzed man the greatest gift the world has ever known: forgiveness and acceptance. Do you think the man and his friends were disappointed? Do you think they expected more? Well, they were not the only ones who were surprised by what Jesus had done.)

A.  v. 6-7 The Criticism – Sitting there in the house that day were some scribes. These men had, no doubt, been sent to check up on this Jesus of Nazareth. The scribes were writers, as the name implies. These men were given the duty of copying the Scriptures. As they copied they became very familiar with the biblical texts. They eventually became scholars and authorities in the text. By Jesus’ time, the scribes and their interpretation of the Law had become more important than the Law itself.

                When these religious men heard Jesus forgive the crippled man’s sins, they could not believe their ears! They knew that only God could forgive sins. They understood the words of Jesus as a claim to be God! When they heard this, they immediately accused Him of blaspheme. Of course, like most legalists and hypocrites, they were cowards and they didn’t have the courage to come right out and accuse Jesus openly.

                This was the first encounter Jesus had with the religious elite of His day, but it would not be the last. In fact, the religious leaders of Israel would be instrumental in having Jesus crucified.

B.  v. 8-9  The Confrontation – Jesus, being God, knew what they were thinking in their hearts. He immediately offers them a challenge.

        His words are worth considering. Jesus said, “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?” Either of those statements is easy to make, but only one can be proved!

        Anyone can say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee” but the real test is for the crippled man to “Rise up and walk”. But, only God possesses the ability to make either happen. Jesus is setting up a test to prove that He is the Messiah.

C.  v. 10-12a  The Confirmation – In these verses, Jesus uses the physical to prove the spiritual. As I said, the forgiveness of sin cannot be proven, but the physical healing is easy to prove. When Jesus commanded the man to, “arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house”, He was proving that He was Who He claimed to be.

        This was the acid test! If Jesus gave the command and the paralytic just continued to lie there, then Jesus would be proven to be a fraud. But, if the man got up, as he did, it would prove that Jesus possessed the power to heal. A power, by the way, that was one of the calling cards of the Messiah, “4.) Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5.) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6.) Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert,” Isa. 35:4-6.


(Ill. By healing this man, Jesus proved that He was worthy of faith! He was proving that He was the Messiah. He was proving that He was God in the flesh.

        Notice His words in verse 10, “the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins”. The words “power on earth” are very interesting. I think they can be taken two ways.

        1.)  Jesus is saying that He had the power, while He was here on earth, to forgive sins. He proved this several times as He forgave those who came to Him. I praise His name that He possesses that power! If you need forgiveness today, you can come to the Lord and find the complete forgiveness you need, John 6:37; Col. 2:13.

2.)  Jesus is saying that the place to receive forgiveness is here on earth! It will be too late to be forgiven when this life is over. If you expect to met the Lord in Heaven and have Him weigh your good against your bad and let you into Heaven that way, you are going to be sadly disappointed. If you need to be salvation, the time to come to Jesus is now. If you need forgiveness, the time to come to Jesus is now.

        When you leave this world in death, it will be too late to make any preparations for eternity! There will be no second chances and no more opportunities! You will have to deal with your sin problem (Ill. Rom. 3:10-23) in this world, or you will die and go to Hell!


Conc: So, Jesus heals the man and the paralyzed man gets up, picks up his mat, elbows his way through the crowd and leaves! He simply gets up and walks away!

        His heart was healed first then his flesh followed. That is the way things go! When the Lord forgives a person’s sins, that person becomes a “new creature”, 2 Cor. 5:17. Their insides are changed and their walk is rearranged! What the Lord does in the heart always shows up on the outside. Remember, genuine faith is something that can be seen by others!

        When the crowds see this miracle, they begin to praise the Lord. They are amazed by what they have seen with their eyes. But, they have completely missed the point.

        The people are so caught up with what their eyes have seen that they have completely forgotten the words He preached. Again, the people chose the miracle over the message!

        What about you friend? Are you still waiting on the miracle? Are you even listening to the message? My wife’s grandfather was saved when he was 84 years old. All the years prior to his salvation, he was waiting on the miracle. He always said that when God was ready to save him He would come to him like He came to Paul on the road to Damascus. He was waiting on the miracle.

        Well, one day, the Lord came to him. It wasn’t a “Damascus Road” experience, but he got saved. A month later, he died. He almost missed it all by waiting on the miracle. But, when he came to the place where he simply received the message, he was saved.

        What about you? Has the Lord spoken to your heart today? If He has, I invite you to do whatever it is that He wants you to do. Jesus is in the house today, let’s mind Him.

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