1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
Dear God, did Jesus intend to heal this man or simply forgive him of his sins? In reading the way this is written in the NIV, it is almost as if he would have let the forgiveness be the end of it. It was only when he was trying to prove a point to the teachers of the law that he moved forward with the healing. Perhaps he intended this all along, and this is how he was making his point. But it’s interesting to consider the idea that Jesus saw this man’s biggest need as getting his sins forgiven as opposed to walking. Do we perhaps take getting our sins forgiven too lightly?
I would say that we definitely take the forgiveness of our sins by you for granted. This is probably something that all Christians need to covet more—the idea that you would choose to forgive our sins. My mind tells me that healing someone and making them walk again is the bigger miracle, but I suppose if I were before you and your glory, and scared out of my mind (see Isaiah), then the idea at that moment that you would give me a “pass” for my sins would seem like a bigger deal than you healing my physical body.
Father, help me to remember the glory of your grace and redemption. Help me to remember to share that glory with others. For those who are lost and still seeking, please help me to share your love with them. Be glorified in me so that others might see you through me. Let that start with my children and my wife, and then flow into my coworkers, family and friends.
December 22, 2011 at 9:58 am
I like this. It reminds me of Reynolds Price’s story about his vision of Jesus baptizing him and forgiving his sins, and Price wanted healing, too (from cancer). Jesus reluctantly agreed, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of healing Price expected.