“And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,”
“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
Matthew 9:2 (context vv. 1-8)
This man needed a touch. But more importantly he had to know that he was forgiven. It seems to me that this was his real need. Forgiveness must come first and foremost. And Jesus’ spoke directly at him. Jesus completely released him. There were no preconditions. Only the faith of his friends (v. 2.) Interesting.
“Your sins are forgiven.”
The religious leaders are very disturbed. Their analysis of this man’s forgiveness was a frontal attack on Jesus’ right to acquit sin. They said nothing, and the miracle really wasn’t even acknowledged. These leaders were in sharp contrast to those who witnessed this first-hand.
The text says that “the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men” (v. 8.)
The religious leaders determined that only God Himself could forgive; to let someone ‘off-the-hook’ like this. They said nothing (perhaps they were feeling ‘out numbered? IDK.)
To forgive sins is God’s exclusive prerogative. No man can release another man from sin. It has the Lord’s exclusive territory. And yet Jesus did precisely that to the chagrin of the ‘legalism’ that was running rampant in the hearts of the religious leaders .
I’m of the opinion that we’re all suffering a certain paralysis of sorts. Each of us have issues that cripple us. We each are sick, and we desperately need Jesus’ touch. “None of us is righteous” (Romans 3:10.) Perhaps Matthew 5:3-4 explains our walk knowing that we all need to be touched.
It seems that we are all dead men walking, separated from God.
The healing of this man was astonishing in itself. To miraculously heal was certainly profound. It doesn’t happen everyday. And yet these scribes, who were thinking about what Jesus said, called it “blasphemy.” They could not see the miracle that freed this man’s great burden.
“The high heaven covereth as well tall mountains as small mole hills, and mercy can cover all. The more desperate thy disease, the greater is the glory of thy physician, who hath perfectly cured thee.”