Read Luke 5:17-26.
People, when thinking of Jesus, often focus on His preaching and teaching. He was known widely as a miracle worker during His earthly ministry. However, His greatest gift was His authority to forgive sins.
While Jesus was teaching in a house, there were two groups of people listening to Him. Among those in the first group were religious leaders, the Pharisees and scribes. The other group was a squad of men carrying a friend on a stretcher. They were blocked from reaching Jesus with their friend because of those religious leaders, who seemed to be more interested in critiquing Jesus. But, these friends were undeterred.
We have heard many times how these men carried their stretcher-bound friend to the roof and then broke through that structure to lower their man to Jesus. Luke notes in our text that Jesus saw their faith. Then, He did something startling. Jesus forgave the paralytic’s sins. The man never asked for that, but Jesus always met the person’s real need. In this way, Jesus also made a point about His divine nature. This provoke thoughts of blasphemy on the part of the religious leaders. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” they questioned. The question was actually right, especially since they were facing God in human flesh. Which is easier, Jesus inquired, to forgive a man’s sins or to tell him to get up and walk? Of course it was easier to forgive the man, since there was no external evidence. However, Jesus claimed to be able to forgive the man and heal him. He told the paralytic to get up and walk, which he did immediately.
Everyone in the house was filled with awe. The group that was present in the house had asked the right question, who can forgive sins? But they were not prepared for the answer. Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, knows what is going on in our lives and offers forgiveness for our sins. This fact can change our lives today!