It was early in Jesus’ ministry. He had been healing many people and had gained such a reputation that crowds sought Him out. So did the religious leaders of the day. On this occasion these leaders filled a home to overflowing to listen to Jesus. At one point some men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a “stretcher”. They were eager to have Jesus heal him, but they couldn’t get near Him because of the crowd. Going to the roof, the men removed some tiles and lowered the stretcher and man down to where Jesus was. Jesus saw their faith, and surprised everyone by saying, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Sins? Forgiveness? That’s not what they expected. But that’s what Jesus did. Compare any need, absolutely any need, to our need for forgiveness and it pales in comparison. We’re not told what the paralytic was thinking, but you can imagine that he was a bit confused. He may have rejoiced to hear that his sins were forgiven, but his legs were still not working. Jesus has a way of surprising us. And He definitely surprised the religious leaders in the crowd who thought: this is blasphemy; only God can forgive sins. They were right; but they didn’t realize that God the Son was right there among them, that He indeed had the authority to forgive. So Jesus showed them a small display of His unlimited power. He said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” And in front of all of them, that is exactly what the man did, glorifying God as He went. Jesus has the authority to forgive all your sins and my sins. He died for all of them. You and I can not pay for a single one ourselves. Our need for God’s complete forgiveness is completely met only in Jesus. Have I glorified God by saying “thank-you, Jesus”?
“Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:20)
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