1. Mark 2:6–7 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why are the scribes sceptic about Jesus' authority to forgive sins?

Mark 2:6–7 (ESV)

6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,

The scribes, who came from the entire country (Luke 5:17) as observers of what Jesus said and did, now abandon their investigative attitude and become suspicious. They question in their hearts, “How does this man (boutos sounds distant, detached) dare to speak blasphemy like this?”

Why do they think it is blasphemy when Jesus forgives sins? Because for them he is not a person in whom one believes, but is merely an object for their investigation (this man). For them, right from the start, their entire attitude precludes accepting that Jesus could be superior to John the Baptist, the Messiah who was to come, the Lord himself! Because of their human preconception about the person of Jesus, they had to come to the conclusion that brings them close to the truth in this situation, but against which they have closed their minds.

We have to see their way of reasoning here. They reason: Who can forgive sins but God alone? On the basis of that consideration they should have knelt before Jesus: God is in our midst! But because the scribes are not open to this possibility, they have to conclude that Jesus blasphemes God. For (according to their preconception) he is merely a man (this man).1