And then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Sand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he then said to the paralytic – “Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
I love this particular healing story. It says so much with so few words.
You see the first roots of evil forming in the hearts of the Jewish church leaders as they suspect Jesus of blaspheming. For, of course, they don’t understand that He has the authority to forgive sins because they don’t understand who he is.
And it shows Jesus’s purpose on earth. He could heal, and He did, but that wasn’t the point. He was here to forgive us of our sins, and eventually to intercede on our behalf so God would do the same. That’s why he forgave the man before He healed him. Also because, let’s face it, being forgiven of your sins is more important than being healed.
WOAH. But it’s true! We spend so much time praying for God to heal us of this ailment, or that worry. Instead we ought to be asking His forgiveness, asking to be healed of sin.
I also notice that while having our sins forgiven is more important, it’s also easier! Jesus says so. So there’s absolutely no reason our sins shouldn’t be forgiven each day if we would just ASK.
This story also shows that illness is a direct result of sin. Nothing like, “God paralyzed me because I committed adultery.” No, it’s rarely that direct. But sickness and injury are a direct result of leaving the Garden of Eden. When we as humans became sinners, we also became subject to disease, and hurt, and want. And that’s why Jesus’s authority to forgive sins is directly related to His authority to heal.