Your Sins Are Forgiven!

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins ….” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:6-12)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -Jesus, John 10:10
Shock waves spread throughout the crowd as the paralytic picked up his mat and walked home. What a dramatic scene–leaving those present–including the teachers of the law–both wide-eyed and wide mouthed! A miraculous event had just occurred–something too hard for mere man to accomplish–the finger marks of God were the only explanation for this man’s healing. I am reminded of God’s Word to Sarah in Genesis when she laughed out loud upon hearing she would have a child in her old age:

Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:13-14)

Considering our limitations, isn’t it comforting to know that nothing is too hard for God?

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. -John 2:23-25
Offended by Jesus’ words of forgiveness, the religious leaders present–in a surly and contemptuous tone–regarded our Lord as a blasphemer. He was talking as if He was God! This was a severe and sinful affront, punishable by death from stoning. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus confronts their hostile accusations. Over and over again in Scripture we are told our Lord knew the thoughts of those around Him. He needs no human help in evaluating people, He is aware of what is in one of us–that is why He came–to give us back life!

God’s powers are inseparable–the One who knows the thoughts of men can certainly forgive sins as well as heal the lame. Thoughts of talk being cheap swirled through the heads of the teachers of the law, surmising that Jesus had claimed to forgive sins because it was easier than healing the man. They were about to have the proverbial pie in their faces when–in obedience to Jesus’ Word–the paralytic up and walked home! Jesus proved His power to forgive sins by demonstrating His power to heal. There could be no doubt in their minds that the Son of Man possessed the achieving power He rightly claimed. Unfortunately, the truth turned their hearts even harder, they were simply unwilling to believe and embrace it. But this truth about Jesus was proclaimed in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah:

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)

Micah also said:

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. (Micah 7:18)

In the New Testament John tells us:

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

And the response of the crowd?

This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:12)

Take It to Heart

“Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”
-Thomas V. Moore
Jesus knows what is in our hearts–that’s why He came–to give us back life. Forgiveness of sins is a divine miracle of grace.

“Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of sins … Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace.”
(Oswald Chambers)