“Why think these things in your hearts? Which is easier? To say to the paralyzed, ‘your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘arise and pick up your cot and walk?’ But so that you may know that the Servant of Humanity has authority on earth to forgive sins –” he told the paralyzed man: “I say to you, rise, and pick up your cot and go on your way – to your house:” (Mark 2:8-11)Why is Jesus saying this? Here is the circumstance of this statement, from the Gospels of Jesus:
Once again he entered Capernaum during the daytime, and it was rumored that he was staying in a house. Immediately many crowds gathered there until there was no more room – not even by the door. And he preached the Teachings of God to them. And four men came to him carrying a cot with someone who was paralyzed. Not being able to get near to him because of the crowd, they opened the roof above Jesus by removing it, and lowered the cot upon which the paralyzed man laid. When Jesus saw their belief, he said to the one paralyzed, “Child, your sins have been forgiven.” Yet there were some scribes sitting there and they were thinking – “Why does this man speak such blasphemies? Who can forgive sins except God?” Then immediately Jesus perceived within his spirit that they were thinking this within themselves. He said to them, (Mark 2:1-8)This should bring up the obvious question, why Jesus would say, "your sins are forgiven" rather than "be healed"?
Why would Jesus care so much about the man's sins? - and how is this related to his being paralyzed? This relationship is based upon the law of consequences.
Basically, the condition of our physical body - and our environment - are all shaped by a combination of our consciousness and past behavior. Activities done with self-centered motives that harm others will result in being harmed similarly. Activities done with a self-centered motive that help others will result in being helped in the future.
This is the perfect design of the physical world. While those without this understanding will accuse the Supreme Being of not caring about others who are in physically challenging situations, this is not what is taking place. And while many will think this planet is imperfect because of all the problems here, we can understand that our individual condition and the condition of the planet - and our society - are all consequences of our prior activities as individuals and as a society respectively.
The important element to understand in this respect is we are not these physical bodies. These physical bodies are temporary vehicles.
We might compare the situation to a movie that came out a few years ago called "Surrogates." In this movie, humans can control surrogate robots that go out and mingle outside while the person lays down in their room hooked to a controller - controlling the robot's comings and goings, and seeing through the robot's eyes and so on.
While the movie is limited in its relationship with our situation - as the plot is chasing down a programmer who figured out how to kill persons controlling their robots - the overall concept is very similar to ours with regard to these physical bodies.
These physical bodies are our surrogates. We utilize them to access the physical world. But because we are spiritual in essence, it is our bodies that become damaged or suffer from difficult circumstances - not us.
It is like a car driver who may be driving a rusty, dented up car. The dents and the rust don't affect the driver - outside of the attachment, the driver has with the car.
In other words, while such a driver of a rusty dented up car is not rusty or dented up himself, a driver who identifies themselves with the car will have a tremendous attachment to the car - and every dent and rust spot will significantly affect the driver.
We can see this around us. Some people are very focused on how their car looks. First, the type of car they drive is very important to them. Then they will clean and wax it all the time, and they are meticulous with regard to how the car looks.
If we were to accidentally put a scratch in such a person's car the car owner will likely freak out. They will over-react, becoming upset, even if the scratch is barely if at all noticeable.
Such a person's relationship with their car is similar to our relationship with our physical body. Currently, most of us identify with our physical body. We think that our physical body is me.
This misidentification with a temporary physical body causes us to over-react to the body's misfortunes. While certainly, when the body is damaged, there are nerve signals sent to the brain which tells the owner that there is damage. But the damage is taking place to the body - not us.
These nerve signals are considered pain: But as we know from the observation of say, running a marathon or practically any other endurance or violent sport such as football or boxing, a person can easily ignore pain. A marathon runner, for example, will feel tremendous pain through the marathon. And even though the marathon is a voluntary event - often with little or no tangible reward - such a runner will put their body through tremendous pain, and willingly endure that pain.
How do they endure and tolerate the pain for 26 miles? They endure the pain because the person is not in pain: Only the body is in pain, and the pain is relative to the focus a person puts upon that pain - how much they are identifying with that pain.
This makes pain relative to one's attachment or detachment to the physical body. A person who is able to deal with pain during an athletic contest - or otherwise - must therefore become detached to the physical body with regard to that pain. This is accomplished by runners and other athletes by focusing on their objective - be it winning, getting a good time or whatever. By focusing on an objective that seems superior to physical comfort, they are able to detach themselves from the painful feedback the body is rendering.
This illustrates clearly that we are not these physical bodies. Who is the person who can become detached from their pain and endure it - even willingly? Who is the person who decides they will endure the pain in order to win a contest?
That is the person within. And because the person within can separate themselves from pain - we can understand that the person within is not the body - they are separate from the body. And the degree they feel the pains and discomforts of the body relates directly to their focus and identification with the physical body.
Thus we can know that the physical body and the physical world was designed by the Supreme Being with rules of engagement. Rules that relate to how we live in the world. It is like a chess game. In a chess game, there are certain rules. For example, each piece can only move in certain ways. You cannot just take a pawn and move it across the board.
In the same way, there are restrictions designed into the physical world, and one of those designs is the law of consequences.
Why are our physical bodies subject to consequences? In order to learn. The Supreme Being has set up the physical world as a learning center. Better, a rehabilitation center.
And what are we supposed to learn? We are supposed to learn how to love again. We lost this ability when we rejected the Supreme Being and became self-centered.
You see, the Supreme Being created each of us to share a loving relationship with Him. As such, our purpose for existing is to render loving service to the Supreme Being within our unique relationship with Him - which includes loving His other children.
But because love requires freedom, we constantly have a choice: Do we put our love on the Supreme Being or do we put our love upon ourselves?
And because the spiritual realm - our home - is a place where everyone's love is centered around their relationship with the Supreme Being, we become outsiders once we decide not to love Him. So He had to send us away - to this physical world.
And because our natural position is to love Him - and this is the only way we will be happy - He set up the physical world as a place of rehabilitation, in the hopes that one day we will decide to return to Him.
But we don't have to return. He always gives us our freedom. We can stay here if we want and continue to falsely identify ourselves with these temporary physical bodies.
The only problem is that by doing this we will constantly have to suffer the consequences of our prior activities - which will result in some hairy circumstances - which of course we put ourselves in with our prior activities.
This law of consequences is stable and resolute. And this law makes it practically impossible for us to untangle ourselves from the physical world - because we are perpetually dealing with the consequences of our previous activities.
This is what Jesus is referring to as "sins" here - those self-centered activities that bear consequences.
And as Jesus states here, our string of consequences can be broken only through the intercession of the Supreme Being or His representative. Because the law of consequences was designed by the Supreme Being, He also has the ability to sever it in special circumstances.
And what are those special circumstances? When a person decides they want to return to the Supreme Being. When a person decides they no longer want to wallow in the hell of their self-centered lives. When a person decides they want to return to the loving arms of the Supreme Being.
This is what Jesus is referring to when he said:
"But so that you may know that the Servant of Humanity has authority on earth to forgive sins –”By "servant of humanity," Jesus is referring to the role of God's representative - that is, the role of serving humanity.
Many sectarian translations translate this Greek phrase to "son of man." But this phrase makes no sense. Every male is a son of a man.
The word "son" here is being translated from the Greek word, υἱός (huios), which only means "son" according to the lexicon, "in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)".
Its meaning as Jesus is using it is also defined in the lexicon: "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower." Thus the word was often used to describe being subservient to another - another's servant.
And the word "man" is being translated from ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) meaning "man" or "mankind" - or humanity.
This means that the phrase υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου means servant of humanity (τοῦ means "of").
This is the role of God's representative as he descends to deliver those who are ready to return to the Supreme Being. When a person decides they want to return to God, the Supreme Being guides them to His representative, and His representative guides them back to their relationship with the Supreme Being.
Thus, the Supreme Being empowers His representative with the ability to purify one's consciousness - which has the effect of removing one's prior consequences - essentially "forgiving" ones "sins."
The word "forgive" here is being translated from the Greek word ἀφίημι (aphiēmi), which means, "to send away," "to disregard," and "to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit" according to the lexicon.
In other words, the man's sins - or consequences - are being disregarded. They are being purified. The debts compiled from ones prior activities are being purified by Jesus - as the Supreme Being's representative.
So how does Jesus have this power? Jesus explains the Source of his power in other situations:
"By myself I can do nothing; As I hear, I make choices, and my choices are just because I do not seek to please myself but to please Him who sent me." (John 5:30)In this statement the word "judgment" is coming from the Greek word κρίσις (krisis), which means "opinion or decision given concerning anything." So Jesus is stating here two things:
1) "By myself I can do nothing" - this means that Jesus is stating that his power and authority comes from the Supreme Being.
2) "As I hear, I make choices, and my choices are just because I do not seek to please myself but to please Him who sent me." - this means Jesus is acting on behalf of the Supreme Being. He is doing the will of God. He is doing what is pleasing to the Supreme Being.
Let's use an example. Let's say that a CEO instructs his vice president to go offer another company a million dollars in exchange for their company ownership. So the VP makes the offer. When he makes the offer, because he is following the wishes and instructions of the CEO, the offer is empowered. If the other company accepts the offer, the VP's company will follow through and buy the company because the CEO authorized it.
But let's say the VP goes out and offers the company two million dollars instead of one million. And let's say that the company accepts this offer. What will happen?
The deal won't happen. The VP's company will not pay the other company the two million dollars because the CEO did not authorize such a deal. So the VP was not authorized - he was not empowered - to make an offer of two million to the company.
In the same way, Jesus is empowered by the Supreme Being because he is doing what the Supreme Being wants him to do.
This is confirmed by Jesus:
"For I have descended from the spiritual realm not to please myself but to please Him who sent me." (John 6:38)This confirms that Jesus is empowered because he is executing the will of the Supreme Being.
Thus we can see from Jesus' activities that the Supreme Being is very merciful, as He is ready to have His representative - the servant of humanity - purified the consciousness of others and removes their sins - their wickedness - and thus the consequences of their prior activities. Why?
Because the Supreme Being loves us and He wants us to come home to Him. If we are cleansed of our consequences to our prior activities, we can more easily return to Him. Why?
Because the consequences of our prior activities have a binding effect upon us - binding our consciousness to continue to identify with and be attached to this temporary physical body.
Both good and bad consequences.
For example, let's say a person has a cell phone, and the battery is running out of the cell phone. If the person makes the effort to plug in that phone and charge the battery, the person will then feel connected to the phone and will want to continue to use it - especially since its battery is now charged. Then, of course, the phone will eventually lose its charge and need to be charged again.
But if a person decides not to charge the cell phone, then guess what? The phone will run out of batteries and the phone will not work. This will cause the person to miss calls - and guess what - they will have to make an extra effort to get the phone recharged to regain their calls.
Either way - whether the phone is charged or not - the person continues to be connected to the phone.
But say someone else just disconnects the service to the phone - guess what? Suddenly there will be no reason to keep the phone charged. The phone will not be causing a hassle of charging and recharging because there isn't a reason to have the phone - since it has no service.
In the same way, the Supreme Being can disconnect our link to our consequences, because He and His representative can intercede upon our consciousness. This is the mechanics of how sins - or consequences - can be relieved. Our consciousness can become gradually purified.
This purification is provoked by God's representative simply by invoking or executing his relationship with the Supreme Being within our range of vision or perception. Such activities are purifying because there is a purification to one's consciousness - even if it is momentarily.
We can see how Jesus was changing people's consciousness in this affair:
First, this is described in Mark 2:2:
And he preached the Teachings of God to them.
And after this affair, we see this part of the next verses:
Immediately he rose and picked up his cot and stood before everyone – and they were all amazed; and they glorified God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2:12)Why did they glorify God? Because their consciousness was raised. They were purified by the activities and the teachings of Jesus. (Praising God's Holy Names is also purifying.)
And what was "the word" that Jesus was teaching them? What was the central element - the foundation - of Jesus' teachings?
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’" (Mark 12:30)