When Forgiveness Went Through the Roof


Series: Mark

Title: 1. When Forgiveness Went Through the Roof Mark 2:1-12. #forgiveness


  • 2004-06-12: Corsicana
  • 2015-06-27: White Rock Lake


  1. 111: “It Took a Miracle”
  2. 108: “Amazing Grace”

Scripture: Mark 2:1-5

  1. Introduction: Background to Mark
    1. Shortest Gospel; Synoptic; source of other Gospels (word for word, etc)
    2. Themes: “Immediately,” fast-paced, few details, aimed at Romans
  2. When Forgiveness Went Through the Roof (Mark 2:1–12)
    1. First need: forgiveness
      1. True guilt, not false guilt
      2. Forgiveness more important than healing—the man would have been happy even if Jesus had not forgiven him
        1. “It was not physical restoration he desired so much as relief from the burden of sin. If he could see Jesus, and receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with Heaven, he would be content to live or die, according to God’s will. The cry of the dying man was, Oh that I might come into His presence!” {DA 267.4}
      3. That’s our first need, too; see Romans 3:23, 24 (verse 24 leads into the second point)
    2. Forgiven by coming to Jesus
      1. The second half of the story was intended to prove Jesus’ authority to forgive—some gospels tell very little of the first part, but they are equally detailed about the second
      2. Solution to all guilt
      3. 1 John 1:7–9: The promise is forgiveness
    3. Luke 5:25, 26: Forgiveness brings praise to God
      1. We humans don’t like to forgive
      2. When God forgives and provides evidence, it is amazing (We call it “Amazing Grace”)
    4. Addendum: Matthew 18:23–34: because we’re forgiven, we should forgive (See also Matthew 6:14-15)
      1. Definition: cease to hold resentment against someone. To give up my right to hurt you for hurting me.
      2. Forgiveness is a process.
      3. Sometimes there are still consequences—trust may have been broken
  3. Conclusion
    1. Micah 7:18–20: God’s forgiveness is complete.
    2. Story: “Throwing Away My Mistakes”
      1. See appendix, below, for story
  4. Next Steps
    1. If you know that there is something wrong between you and God (true guilt), ask Him to forgive you and change you (then let Him change you!).
    2. If you’re experiencing false guilt (either what you did was okay or it was wrong but you’ve confessed it already), write it down and destroy the paper. Ask God to remind you that you’re forgiven.
    3. If there is someone you need to forgive, do so. If it is appropriate, let that person know. Do your best to restore the relationship.


Throwing Away My Mistakes

By Becky Colvin (Insight, June 19, 2004)

“Owww!” shrieked Ballen.

I looked up in time to see Ballen reach for a pebble from the classroom’s floor. I pierced him with my worst teacher glare.

Tossing the rock back on the floor, he complained, “Carina trow rock at me!”

“Well, he bad word me,” retorted Carina.

With a deep sigh and a head shake I signaled the kids to repeat what had become our most frequently broken classroom rule.

“Don’t trow rock in the classroom,” Carina and Ballen chorused.

When I moved to the Marshall Islands for a year to teach English as a second language to fourth through sixth graders, I expected to enforce the normal American classroom rules: Stay in your seat. Be quiet while the teacher talks. Don’t cheat. But declaring a don’t-throw-rocks-in-the-classroom rule never entered my mind. However, I should have realized what a problem rock throwing might be when I saw my classroom for the first time.

Four long coconut tree trunks on the ground created the frame that enclosed the open-air classroom. Four upright logs supported the peaked corrugated tin roof. The two blackboards at the front of the classroom left areas open to see the palm trees, white sand, and ocean water off the lagoon just 20 yards away. Underneath the rough-hewn desks, smooth white pebbles covered the floor.

During the first day one of my sweet-faced brown-skinned students got angry at a classmate. They didn’t yell, get into a fistfight, or pass evil notes. Instead they reached down to the floor, picked up a white pebble, and swiftly bounced it off the offender.

Horrified, I kept the guilty party in at lunch break for a lecture. It astounded me that none of the other students seemed as surprised as I was. That should have been a clue.

I solved the mystery of rock throwing during a visit to my student Carison’s home. As Carison’s mom, Moneo, and I sat on a palm frond mat, she worked on mending clothes. She smiled, and my two other teacher friends, Mardene and Sher, and I smiled back, since we didn’t know enough Majõl [Marshallese] yet to communicate. Across the pebble-strewn yard one of Carison’s younger brothers pinched his little sister, making her cry. Suddenly motherly Moneo picked up one of the pebbles and hurled it across the yard. Instantly her wayward son hopped on one leg, holding the other in pain. She gave me a brief smile and went on with her sewing. She hadn’t had to say a word.

Rock throwing, I discovered, was most parents’ punishment of choice. And they never missed. In fact, all the Majõl people were skilled at rock throwing. It actually seemed to be one of the most useful skills on the island. Walking down the road I’d see men throwing rocks into the breadfruit trees, and soon a spiky green breadfruit would plummet to the ground.

After a while, Mardene, Sher, and I became less shocked by our students’ rock throwing habits. On several occasions we even appreciated our friends’ odd skill. We frequently walked along the rough one-lane road that led to the nearby towns of Matolen and Jabo, where most of our students lived.

On one trip an island dog began following us and growling menacingly. Shakily I reached to the road for rock to chuck at the dog. Before my hand ever contacted the stone, the dog yelped and ran away. We definitely benefited from the force and accuracy of the Majõl throwing arm!

A short time into our stay the three of us felt settled enough to begin Majõl lessons. The local mayor, Mr. Timison, knew English well enough to teach us the Majõl language and to instruct us in the local customs. It didn’t take long to realize how many people we’d already offended.

“How do you say I’m sorry?” Mardene asked, realizing we were probably going to need to use this phrase often.

Jolok burr” said Mr. Timison. “It means ‘Throw away my mistake.’ ”

Jolok burr,” we repeated, committing it to memory.

“And if it’s OK, they’ll say, “Ejjelok burr,” continued Mr. Timison.

“What does that mean?” Sher asked.

“It means ‘No more mistake’ or ‘What mistake? The mistake is all gone.’”

It took me a while to realize why a MajõlEjjelok burr” was so much more reassuring that the typical American response, “That’s alright.” When I asked my Marshallese friends to throw away my mistake, and they answered that my error was already gone, I believed them because of their talent for rock throwing. An accompanying smile arching across a brown face comforted me, too.

I never thought my students’ rock throwing could teach me a lesson about forgiveness. It brought new meaning to the text “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depth of the ocean!” (Micah 7:19, NLT)

I can imagine the conversation between God and me when I’ve sinned yet again.

Jolok burr, Lord, I’m sorry. Please throw away my mistake.”

Ejjelok burr. What mistake? There’s no mistake here. It’s already gone.”

If God says He’s forgiven me, I can believe Him. After all, He’s got a strong throwing arm.