Day 59: Jesus Can Forgive Sin

Luke 5:17-26 :

It happened on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal them. Behold, men brought a paralyzed man on a cot, and they sought to bring him in to lay before Jesus. Not finding a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the midst before Jesus. Seeing their faith, he said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, “Why are you reasoning so in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you;’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I tell you, arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house.”

Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God. Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”

It’s a committed man who tears apart a roof to get to Jesus. Perhaps the man was thinking that if he could just get to Jesus, he would be healed and then he would fix the roof to be better than it was. In that case, he certainly was expecting to be healed. It is clear that God likes this kind of committed faith. I’m not saying that we should do dangerous things to force God to do things for us. In that case we would get what we deserve. When faith is really there, things like repairing roofs don’t seem like that big of a deal when it means that we are really going to be healed.

The religious leaders obviously didn’t have that kind of faith because they immediately assumed that Jesus was a blasphemer instead of assuming that He was God. They stand out in stark contrast to the paralytic, faith-filled man. Jesus always seemed to be a master of these real-life arrangements. He always brought out the beauty of the inside of a person in contrast to the outside appearance of things and the assumptions that people were making.

Jesus used the healing to prove to the religious leaders that He also had the power to forgive sins. Notice that Jesus forgave the sin first and then healed the man. We see God operating that way in our lives today. Jesus sees our hearts as more important than our physical bodies.