In the last blog, we read accounts of Jesus’ own words concerning His divine nature. Let us now look at how His actions pointed to His equality with God.
On multiple occasions, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath. This was a day God had intended for his people to relax after a week of hard labor. During Jesus’ time, the Pharisees had turned it into a burden. It was no longer a time of meditation on the goodness of God. It was now another law to be upheld. When Jesus healed people on this day, the Pharisees couldn’t help but accuse Him of breaking Jewish “law”. Imagine being so hard-hearted that you find fault when watching the sick be made well!
“This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” – John 5:18
Without the Spirit of God working newness of life within us, we are exactly like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. We are prone to a tradition that leads to the hardening of our hearts.
Only God can forgive sins. Therefore, Jesus can forgive sins.
“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” – Mark 2:5-12
Jesus not only told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, but He also proved to the skeptics that He had the power to do so. How could anyone deny Jesus’ authority over sin the moment the paralytic stood to his feet? Unsurprisingly, that is exactly what the Pharisees did. Rather than rejoice in God’s miracles we read in Mark 3:6, “The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.”
Jesus had a perfect understanding of Scripture and Jewish law. He said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” May we avoid the life of a Pharisee and recognize that Jesus’ actions were the actions of the Eternal God.