Your Sins Are Forgiven
Written by: Brianna Williamson
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Some men came carrying a paralyzed man 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.”
He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Why in the above quote from Luke 5 does Jesus forgive the man’s sins first, before healing the man’s physical ailments? Maybe it’s because Jesus knew the man better than even his friends did. God the Son saw the heart of the paralyzed man (1 Samuel 16:7).
We all have things that we would rather people not see. We have parts of us that make us feel ashamed and dirty. And though the paralyzed man obviously had some physical ailments, all of us have hidden ailments.
Jesus saw the hidden ailment of sin that was destroying the man’s desire and ability to have a meaningful relationship with his Creator. Sometimes, we are so dead in our sins that it takes the faith of others to break through the paralysis that can happen inside of us.
Even if the paralyzed man’s friends did not know the extent of his ailments, they knew that he needed help and they were determined to get it for him. They loved their friend so much that they did all they could to make sure that he got help. They had enough faith in God to go the extra mile and because of this, their friend received a breakthrough. They were able to carry the burdens of their friend literally! (Galatians 6:2)
Though we have no clue what the whole story of the paralyzed man’s life is or how he came to be paralyzed, I think we should see his story as a beautiful illustration of the ways that God works everything together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). Though his physical body suffered, the care of his friends allowed for an opportunity for more spiritual closeness to his Savior; a freedom to come just as he was to experience Jesus’ unconditional love.
1. What is it that causes or has caused you to feel paralyzed?
2. What steps can you take to accept God’s grace and forgiveness in those things today?
3. How can you help carry the burdens of a friend today?
Lord, thank You for sending Your Son to die for the forgiveness of our sins. We can never thank You enough for that gift. Help us to accept that gift freely and turn all of our shame and dirt over to You. Open our eyes continually to Your unconditional love and kindness. Amen.
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