Faith and Forgiveness

Four friends brought their friend who was a paralytic to the house where Jesus was teaching. They could not bring him in because of the crowd. So, they went up on the housetop and they let him down on his bed through the tiling. He ended up right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw how deep their faith was, He said to the paralytic, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” It is interesting to note that Jesus did not say “Get up and walk, their faith has made you well.” Instead, He forgave the man. He knew that forgiveness was what the man really needed.

Of course, Jesus’ words caused a commotion among the religious leaders who felt He had committed blasphemy for only God alone could forgive sins. There are Christians who go to confessionals where they confess their sins to the priests. The priests absolve them and instruct them to say the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”prayers. We see here that no one but God alone can absolve people of their sins. David confessed his sins directly to God. “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).

The apostle John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

The religious leaders accused Jesus of doing something only God should do–forgive sins but Jesus’ response to them was “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” Then He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately the man got up, took up his bed and left the house, glorifying God.

Jesus showed the scribes and the Pharisees that not only did He have to power say, “I forgive you” but He showed that the man was indeed forgiven. The man was not paralyzed with sin any more. He left there walking and with the assurance of God’s forgiveness.

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