Matthew 9:1-8 CEB: Boarding a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and went to his own city. People brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man who was paralyzed, “Be encouraged, my child, your sins are forgiven.”
Some legal experts said among themselves, “This man is insulting God.”
But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you fill your minds with evil things? Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“Get up, take your cot, and go home.” The man got up and went home. When the crowds saw what had happened, they were afraid and praised God, who had given such authority to human beings.
The thing that sticks out of this passage is the last sentence, ‘When the crowds saw what happened, they were afraid and praised God, who had given such authority to human beings.’ What authority was that? It was the authority to forgive sins and to heal people. Let that implications of that sink in for a moment. (I did. I let that last sentence sit for about three hours.)
How often to we go around telling people they’re forgiven? I know a lot of us forgive people (and we should always forgive). But how many of us do it when no one is asking? That’s a big step. But Jesus stated, on more than one occasion I might add, that we were to forgive. What would happen if we did that? I bet we would get the same type of response from the religious opposition that Jesus got. But if we are going to follow him, if we are to be Christ in the world (John 20.21 CEB; compare John 1.1-4, 14 CEB), we need to forgive more. Especially when no one is asking.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br Jack+, LC