Saturday, August 25, 2007


Luke 5:17-26

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 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.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

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?"

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Get up and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . ."

He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."

In my reading and prayer today I wanted to share something that would bless my readers. In that I read this passage which always amazes me as Jesus forgives some one's sin and is rebuked for it. Jesus knows the heart of man and the darkness that dwells there. He asks a question which in all honesty I am not sure of the answer... "Which is easier: to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Get up and walk'?"
Maybe it is the translation from Greek to English and in that we lose something.
I rarely read commentaries... I may read a theological book yet unlike in my younger days when I would pour hours into commentaries I found most the time they really give me much insight... That is not bragging, but more that often I find that the commentary may point somethings out yet the "thing" I am looking for they do not touch.
For some reason I turned to Henry's Concise Commentary which stated:
17-26 How many are there in our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, who do not sit under the word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent to them. Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with him. Give us, Lord, the same kind of faith with respect to thy ability and willingness to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than any earthly blessing, or life itself. Enable us to believe thy power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and go where thou pleasest.
I do like what Henry has to say, yet I still felt unsatisfied. I see that we are to press in to Jesus who will give us favor and will heal our souls... and sometimes our bodies. Yet, the point I see missed is that Jesus want us to live in a way that enacts forgiveness on others. The teachers and religious leaders of the taught that only God can forgive sins... and Jesus shows them that He the man, (yes God in flesh, but still a man) can and will forgive the sins of others. The title "Son of Man was the human title of Jesus... it was not a reference to His deity... He does show that He is as able as God to forgive others.
In that I see we need to beseech God for the forgiveness of others also.
Later in Luke 4:36-37 Jesus teaches more on the topic of forgiveness...
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Part of our salvation is giving away the forgiveness we have been given.
Jesus gives grave warning in a parable to those who choose not to live a life of active forgiveness...
Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"The servant fell on his knees before him. `Be patient with me,' he begged, `and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. `Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, `Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. "Then the master called the servant in. `You wicked servant,' he said, `I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
My prayer is that one will seek and find the forgiveness God offers at the Cross of Jesus... and in that find a new life of walking in that forgiveness by the Power of the Resurrection... that you the reader be brought and immersed into a deep understanding of the forgiveness of God.
I pray this also for myself for I know I fall short in giving away the forgiveness God gave me. I have come to learn that I cannot forgive others in my own strength. In these short comings one must fall on the merciful grace of God and by Him and through Him in the person of Faith in Christ, walk out our salvation... Trusting God to be the One who forgives others in and through you.

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