17 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. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 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.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Your sins are forgiven! How wonderful these words sound? Imagine a debtor hearing “oh man, your debts are cleared”. Certainly, the one whose sins/debt are forgiven is favored. The paralytic in this story (Luke 5:17-22) received such great favor just by trusting in Jesus. Notice how faith in Jesus produced forgiveness of sin? A very simple equation that holds even today is “Faith in Jesus = Forgiveness of sin”.
Dear friend, this is simple. The only thing you need for your sin to be forgiven is FAITH in Jesus. However, irrespective of how simple and true this is, the devil will always want to make it complicated. Doubts, such as, “how possible is it for my sins to be forgiven just by words? Who is this Jesus to forgive my sins just by having faith in Him?” are easy to come by.
The Pharisees in this same passage had such doubt of who Jesus was, but Jesus’s proof of who he was and why he has the sole authority to forgive sin was proven beyond doubt as He did not only forgive the man’s sins but also healed his paralyzes.
21 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?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 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.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on, and went home praising God.
Are you doubting if Jesus has the authority to forgive your sins? Read on and you will understand why he (Jesus) alone has such authority.
First, what really are you forgiven of? What really are your sins?
God is holy, in Him, there is no atom of sin/evil. On the other hand, we as humans are full of evil: our thoughts towards others, evil desires, or even actions. Think about it a moment, can you boldly say you have no sin? I believe the answer is no! This however is not the only sin we are guilty of.
As humans, there is a collective sinful nature we all inherited through the flesh. The world and all in it were initially made holy, but man derailed by choosing to sin against God (Genesis 3). This choice separated us all from God and resulted in the nature of sin we all came into the world with. It was this same sin and all its products that Jesus forgave the paralytic of. This is also the same sin and all its products Jesus is willing to forgive you of today. We call this reconciliation with God.
So, Jesus came to reconcile whoever believes and trusts Him back to God. Reading through Genesis 3, you will notice that man had a choice to remain Holy or sin against God, but unfortunately, man choose to sin against God (making all of us sinners).
Jesus is God who came in flesh to present to men another opportunity to choose Gods’ holiness, and we do this just by trusting in Him (John 1:1).
Dear friend making this choice is easy. Just like the paralytic, you do not need to do anything other than showing Jesus you trust him by handing over your life to him. Imagine the trust the paralytic and his friends had in Jesus to have gone that far seeking his attention.
You too can tell Jesus you trust him today by talking to him in prayers. Hand over your life to him now. Say these words aloud.
Lord Jesus, just like the paralytic, I trust you can forgive my sins. Here I am Lord, forgive my sins and be my Lord. Amen!
Note that paralyzes in those days is seen by the Jews as the worst sickness anyone can have. Despite how disgusting this sickness is to the Jews, Jesus received the paralytic, healed him, and forgave him by simply saying “Your sins are forgiven”. So, no matter how dirty you think you are, Jesus will still accept you if you trust him with your life.