Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!” —Luke 5:18-26

This paralyzed man was declared to be forgiven by Jesus before a house full of people including Pharisees and teachers of the law. These religious leaders were all thinking in their minds— “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” These leaders were right on one point. It is true that only God can forgive sins, but they were wrong in saying He blasphemed. They did not understand who He was!

Brother and sister, we understand who Jesus is and we rejoice in having our sins forgiven. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The truth of this verse never gets too familiar to me. God’s love gift to us of His Son so that we could be forgiven, not wind up in Hell and have an everlasting relationship with God through Jesus is astounding! In loving gratitude let us praise His Holy Name!

Thank You dear Father for the forgiveness I have through Jesus and also for the everlasting relationship with You through Him. May I live according to Your desires in the authority of Jesus and in the power of Your Holy Spirit.

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