And so it begins. We have just experienced the transfiguration of Jesus, signifying the beginning if His ministry. Also signifying the first steps on the way to the cross. Early in Jesus’ ministry He met a man who was paralyzed. When Jesus saw the faith of the man and his friends, He said, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” He didn’t just reach out and heal the man. He said your sins are forgiven. That would have been enough to heal the man. But the scribes that were present argued about it. Saying Jesus was blasphemous and that He had no authority to forgive. Jesus asked them, “Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or to say arise and walk?” Then, to prove His point, Jesus said, “arise and walk.” And the man arose, took up his bed and walked home. Of course all the scribes were even more taken aback by this gesture. But Jesus had proved His point.
What can we learn from this? I think Jesus is telling us that we can all perform miracles in our own way. We cannot tell a paralytic to get up and walk and expect it to happen. However, we can tell anyone their sins are forgiven and we can be assured that they will be forgiven. Jesus gave us that assurance when He chose to die on the cross for us. Every Sunday during our confession, our pastor declares to us the entire forgiveness of all our sins. Then at the end of the service we are instructed to go out and do likewise. I think in this miracle that Jesus performed He shows us that not all ailments are physical. He is telling us that the simple act of forgiveness is very powerful. And we have that power. Jesus gave us that power when He went to the cross. He died so that all of us would be forgiven.
As we again take the Lenten journey to the cross, let us not forget the reason Jesus went there. He gave His life to forgive our sins. The beauty of the story is that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we wouldn’t have too. However, He asks us just as He asked the scribes. Is it easier to say your sins are forgiven or to say get up and be healed. If all of our sins are forgiven, any physical infirmities we have will seem of little importance.
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