Luke 5:20-26 – When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Get up 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, get up, take your mat and go home." Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."
The healing of the paralyzed man is a defining moment in the life and ministry of Jesus. This moment is highlighted by some powerful statements and some all-important questions. The statement that sparked it all was Jesus saying, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” That led the Pharisees and lawyers to ask two SILENT questions. (1) “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?” (2) “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus read their minds and responded with two powerfully challenging questions of His own. (1) “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” (2) “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’” Jesus is going to answer the questions that plague the minds of these religious leaders, but there’s no indication that they ever provide an answer to His OPEN questions.
“Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?” That He read their minds should have been their first clue! Is it really blasphemy if the person who is forgiving sins really HAS the authority to do that? “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Their second question leads everyone to this defining moment! If this “fellow” who speaks forgiveness can read your minds, is God incarnate, then GOD ALONE HAS forgiven sins! Jesus accepts their questions and raises them one, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” They were skeptics and unbelievers – that’s why they thought those things in their hearts! As a man thinks in his heart, so he is! (Prov. 23:7). “Which is easier…” requires them to think deeper in their hearts! Is it easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk?” If you don’t have authority to make either one happen, neither one is easy! But, if you’re the Author and Creator of Life, You will have the power and authority to SAY and DO BOTH! Jesus’ questions demand that they reconsider WHY they think these things in their hearts, and freshly assess WHAT they believe about HIM!
“So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” ends His discourse with the religious skeptics, and now He turns all His attention to the needy man. “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” The man who had been paralyzed just moments earlier, now IMMEDIATELY stood up, grabbed his mat, and promenaded home praising God! His miraculous transformation before their eyes, caused the entire crowd to be amazed and join in praising God. No one gave Beelzebub the credit this day. It was evident that this was a glory to God moment! So, who IS this fellow anyway? This moment in time CLEARLY defines His identity and answers the question for anyone who is willing to be honest in their judgment. He is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for the people in your life who had faith in Christ to heal, forgive and restore you.
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Joan Doud, John & Christine Fargo (Giovanni, Isabelle, Claire), Sara Fellows.
- Pray that you may be one of those people who have faith in Christ’s power to make others whole.
- Give thanks for Christ’s authority to forgive, heal and restore.
- Partner with us in “In Touch” Prayer meeting at the close of Worship Service.
- Pray that others may witness the transformation in you and give praise to God!
- Celebrate the fact that Christ is the author and Creator of Life!
- Praise God that the Word became flesh and made His dwelling with us!
Prayer Challenge: Ask God to empower you to abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the unbelievers that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. – 1 Peter 2:11,12