Who Forgives Sin?

“One day Jesus was teaching,
and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there.
They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem.
And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat
and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.
When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat
through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
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 I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority
on earth to forgive sins. So, 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.’”
Luke 5:17-26 (NIV)

This story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man has captured the imaginations of children of every generation. To think of men carrying someone onto the flat top of a house, digging up the roof and lowering the man down to the feet of Jesus is dramatic indeed.

But the most startling events were yet to happen. Jesus was impressed with the faith of the men and said to the paralyzed man that He forgave the man his sins. This statement startled the people but especially concerned were the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. They knew that only God could forgive sins. They recognized the fact that Jesus was claiming to be God publicly.

The next remarkable thing Jesus did was to read the thoughts of His critics and so proved His deity by addressing their silent criticism. Only God can read our thoughts (Psalm 94:11). They must have been startled at Jesus’ ability to read their minds, but Jesus proves He can forgive sins by performing a miracle to cure the man’s medical problem which apparently the doctors of the time could not do.

Jesus said to His critics that forgiving sins and curing the man’s medical issue were equally impossible except for God. So, to prove that the man’s sins were forgiven by a word from Jesus, He commands the man to get up, take up his mat and go home and he did! So irrefutable evidence was given to the deity of our Lord.

Do you bow before this Sovereign Jesus? Are you in love with the God Who entered His own creation on a mission to redeem fallen humanity? Have you enlisted in His army? Are you one of the Good Shepherd’s sheep? Do you hear His voice? Do you have the hope of being with Him forever? Is He the One whose will you joyfully obey? Do you long to see Him and be with Him forever?

If you cannot answer “Yes” to these questions your eternal destiny is open to question. Come to the One Who died for sinners and rose again. Come to Him and come now.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
All those the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I will never drive away’”
John 6:35-37 (NIV)

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