Mark – Who can forgive sins but God alone?

Mark – Who can forgive sins but God alone?

Read Mark 2:1-17


Many houses in old Israel had two storeys.  Upper rooms were reached by stairs or ladders. These rooms provided the main living and sleeping accommodation and guests could also be looked after there.

Roofs were constructed from beams covered with branches and a thick layer of mud plaster, though the rafters were sometimes supported by a row of pillars along the middle of the room. Roofs ofter needed to be re-plastered annually prior to the rainy season to seal cracks which had developed during the summer heat. The family would often sleep on the roof in summer or use it to dry raisins, figs, flax, etc., in the sun.

A parapet was to be built as a safety precaution according to Dt. 22:8. Vaulted roofs were certainly in use in Palestine by the Persian period, while the tiled roof also appeared before NT times. The rooftop was also a place of worship, either for Baal and especially the host of heaven.


1. Read Mark 2:2.  What was Jesus doing before this episode took place?


2. Is there any significance in the fact that the names of neither the sick man, nor his friends are mentioned in this paragraph?  Why do you think the evangelist omitted the specifics?

3.  Is there any connection between the preaching of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin?

4.  Your translation of the Bible might have a heading to this paragraph in the Bible.  What is it?

5.  What is this story primarily about:  the healing of the paralytic, or the authority of Jesus to forgive sin?

6.  Our Lord called the paralytic “Son” (or “Child”).  This surely tells us something.  How do you see it?

7.  Read verse 6.  The teachers of the law, at the point before the man was healed, thought Jesus was a blasphemer.   Why?

8.  Blasphemy is a verbal insult uttered intentionally and malevolently against God, revealing the offender’s contempt for Him.  Why do you think Jesus did not blaspheme against God?

9.  Sin can only be forgiven by the One who is sinned against.  If this is the case, how do we apply what we learned about who Jesus is in our previous study here?

10.  Look at the title of this chapter.  Why does Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners?


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