(20) And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.Luke 5:20-21
(21) And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
We see multiple miracles in this narrative. Jesus has the ability to know what a person is thinking and feeling. We see this both with the paralytic man, his friends, and with the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus sees the man’s faith and his desire for forgiveness. When the paralytic man is lowered into the room right in front of Jesus, He offers the man forgiveness. Without faith it is impossible to be forgiven, and this man is coming not just for physical healing. He is coming for forgiveness.
This brings up the question that is central to the point of this narrative. Who can forgive sins? Jesus also sees the thoughts of the hearts of the Pharisees and scribes. They are right in one sense and very wrong in another. They are right in their assertion that only God can forgive sins. That is correct. God is the only one who can forgive sins. They are wrong in their assertion that what Jesus said was a blasphemy. They are assuming that it is blasphemy because they do not believe that He is God. Jesus is stating clearly that He is God.
This story contrasts the kind of person that goes away forgiven, and the kind of person that does not. Jesus says later in chapter 5 to the Pharisees:
(31) And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. (32) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:31-32
The Pharisees do not see themselves as spiritually sick. They do not see themselves as those who need forgiveness. Even if they did believe that they needed forgiveness, they certainly did not believe that Jesus could do anything to forgive them.
The paralytic is just the opposite. He knows he needs forgiveness. He knows he needs healing, and he believes that if he got to Jesus, Jesus could do something about it.
Do you realize your need for forgiveness? The problem you most deeply feel may not be the greatest problem that you have. You may feel the need for additional finances, physical healing, or restored relationships, but these things may not be your greatest need. You can have great health, relationships, and finances and die in your sins only to spend an eternity separated from God forever. The only shot you and I have at having our sins forgiven and missing hell is Jesus Christ. Any need you have is secondary to that if you do not have your sins forgiven.
Any need you have is secondary to the need to have your sins forgiven.Tweet
How is your faith? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus can forgive your sin? What about those around you? Do you have enough faith to try to “get them to Jesus”?