The Forgiving Christ
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
"The greatest need of man is to escape the wrath of God, poured out on sinners, eternally in hell". Only Christ's death and resurrection offers the solution to that need. Acts 13:38, "through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you". Jesus gave us the divine forgiveness of all our sins. Ephesians 1: 7, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace". Psalm 103:12, "As the father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him".
Jesus was at Simon Peter's house and the house was full of people along with a few teachers of the law. As the entrance to the house was blocked by the curious crowd, four men who carried a paralytic, made an opening in the roof by digging through it and lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. Jesus seeing their faith proclaimed to the man, "your sins are forgiven". By announcing his forgiveness, Jesus took care of his spiritual need before his physical need. Forgiveness leads to healing and happiness. The paralytic was helpless. There were a lot of hindrances, but the faith and persistence of the four people who carried him paved way for his healing. Similarly, we are duty bound to '"stand in the gap" to lift up the needs of our brothers in our prayers. The four people practiced their faith by carrying the man to Jesus. Similarly, we should be compassionate to people in need. In James 2:14 we read, "what good is it, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?"It is not God's desire for his people to live in sickness. Some sicknesses are caused by our sins (1 Cor. 11:27-30), some sicknesses are the works of Satan (Job 2:7) and there is no assignable cause for some sicknesses as we can see from Jesus' response in John 9.3, that a man was born blind in order to display the work of God in his life. Jesus defeated Satan by his death and resurrection to ensure healing to all.Sin means: to miss the mark, to violate God's law, moral failure etc. Forgiveness means: freed from the guilt and penalty of sin forever. Religious leaders who were present there thought that Jesus' proclamation that "your sins are forgiven" is blasphemy, as God alone can forgive sins. Forgiving sins is God' s prerogative and Jesus has authority to forgive sinners as that is one of the main purposes of His coming. A sinner has to repent and believe for Jesus to forgive. The paralytic did not have to say anything because Jesus knew his heart. In Romans 8: 27 we read that, "He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit". The paralytic obeyed 3 orders Jesus gave, "get up, pick up and go home". Everyone around there were amazed and praised God. His healing thereby resulted in the healing of all who were there. We live in a world in which "individualism" is the motto of most, but the healing for the paralytic mattered more to the four people who carried him to Jesus, than their own need to have an encounter with Jesus. It is when we lend a helping hand to the people in need that we truly live according to the will and word of God. We are healed according to God's will. As followers of Jesus, we are expected to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world".
Lord, forgive our sins and make us a new creation in Christ. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
"The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed". James 5:15-16