English Standard Version (ESV)
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Jesus Heals a Leper and a Paralytic
Accompanying Matt Chandler sermon: Being
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: Only God Forgives Sin Part 1 and Part 2
What an incredible display of divinity this is!
First He forgives the man's sins. Only God can do that. Only God. Yes, we can forgive each other, but we have absolutely no authority to extend forgiveness on behalf of God. Jesus does.
And the Pharisees had their theology right. They knew that God alone could forgive sins. They knew there were only two options - either this man was God, or he was a blaspheming heretic. They picked the wrong option.
And they were so blind!
Jesus read their thoughts. People can't do that. Only God can.
And Jesus healed the paralytic. People can't do that. Only God can.
Only God can heal, only God can forgive.
But it's pretty hard to prove forgiveness. There's no physical evidence of it occurring. It's pretty easy to say it, because you can't prove it didn't happen.
But you can prove healing! And so, in order to prove His ability and authority to forgive, Jesus proves His ability to heal. Instantly. Completely. Muscles long atrophied, bones long brittle - instantly and completely healed.
Jesus read their thoughts.
All things that are impossible for man, but possible for God alone. He proved He was God. He proclaimed He was God.
And the Pharisees were too blind to see it.
Are there things blinding us, causing us to miss out on God? To only see our assumption and not the reality?
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 5:27-32
It's amazing sometimes how we see what we expect instead of what's actually there.
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