The Proof is in the Pudding

When Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat 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 tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)

“The proof is in the pudding” is a shortened form of the old proverb that “the proof of a pudding is in the eating of it.” The proof of Jesus was in the healing of the man.

To open a hole in the roof of a house in ancient Israel was not as labor intensive as opening a hole in a modern roof. But it was still destructive, messy, and noisy. Bits of roof material would have fallen on Jesus and those around him.

When Jesus told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven, the teachers of the law thought that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy. Obviously it’s pretty easy to tell someone their sins are forgiven. The forgiven person doesn’t change color or shape. Forgiving sins, though the easiest to say, was the hardest to do in fact. Jesus demonstrated by the visible healing, that he had the power to do the invisible healing. People got well all the time. But sins being forgiven? The teachers of the law were right. Only God could do that. And Jesus still has the power to forgive our sins. That was his whole reason for coming to us.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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