That Mercy is Delivered to Us Through Forgiveness
What does the word forgiveness really mean? When you say your sins have been forgiven, what does that mean to you?
To find out what forgiveness really means, we need to go to the source, to the only one who has the authority to forgive our sins.
Mark records a fascinating story in the early chapters of his Gospel account. A group of people were gathered at a house in Capernaum to hear Jesus preach. The house was packed.
Four men arrived carrying their paralytic friend on a stretcher. They had heard about Jesus and his healing touch. They were determined to find a way to get their friend into that house. The only option they saw was through the roof. The climbed up, cut an opening, and lowered their friend on his stretcher.
This was faith in action. When Jesus saw it, he looked at the paralytic and said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus’s statement confused the crowd and offended the teachers of the law. They were thinking, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). On this point, their theology was correct. Only God has the power and authority to forgive sins. Only God can forgive because he is the offended party–the person we ultimately wrong. Our sins are against him. We are in his debt.
Jesus was not about to let their thoughts go unchallenged. Jesus asked them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2:8-10). Jesus, God in human flesh, exercised his authority and power and forgave the paralytic.
What fascinates me is the paralytic’s silence. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t ask for healing or forgiveness. Yet, Jesus delivered his mercy with four simple words, “Your sins are forgiven.” This is grace.
Here is good news. Jesus says the same four words to you. These aren’t just words to make you feel better about yourself. Jesus is God. When he says your sins are forgiven, they are forgiven. Let the words of Jesus penetrate your heart and mind–“Your sins are forgiven”.