“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” – Mark 2:5
Jesus is teaching and healing, and the masses are flocking to him. Jesus sits in a crowded house; no one can get in. Unless, the roof is an option.
Friends of a paralyzed man, rip up a roof, and lower their friend to Jesus—confident Jesus will heal their friend.
Jesus did more.
He forgave his sins.
The scribes couldn’t believe what they saw. “How can Jesus say he forgives sins!?” I get what they are saying. Anyone can merely say they forgive sins, but only God can forgive sins.
So, Jesus turns and says:
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—he said to the paralytic—”I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” – Mark 2:10-12
Jesus proves he can forgive this man’s sins by healing him. No one can nonchalantly say to a paralyzed man, “You are healed”—the proof is in the person. If he can’t walk, he ain’t healed. Jesus is showing how his words aren’t just words. He’s not a man of lip service. His words have promise, power, and authority—the ability to fix broken cells, muscle tissue, and nerve endings. He has powerful words toward our sins.
Jesus offers and grants us forgiveness of sins. Whatever we think we need most in this life, forgiveness from God is first. We need reconciliation with God. More than physical relief, even healing from paralysis, we need forgiveness. Healing is a grand blessing, but it is still a lesser blessing to the forgiveness of sins. Jesus has compassion on the sick, this is obvious in the Gospels. So, this isn’t to belittle his healing or our sicknesses—this is to magnify the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus’ came to save the lost more than anything else.
What do you want most from God? The job of your dreams? A nicer house? A spouse? How about the forgiveness of your sins?
Jesus died in our place, on the cross, to forgive our sins—to pay for them. He rose from the dead victorious. And a day will come when every Christian—those who’ve had their sins forgiven—will rise from the dead with new bodies, ready for eternity on the New Earth. Cancer will be no more. Poverty will be extinct, and crime will cease to exist. But forgiveness of sins comes first.
Have you asked God, by faith to forgive you, based on the merits of Jesus? “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).
If you have, praise God! Like the crowds who saw Jesus perform this double miracle, let’s be amazed. Let’s glorify God. We’ve never seen anything like the grace of God.