New International Version
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 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. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 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?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Monday - February 14
At the heart of Martin Luther's teaching that led to the Reformation beginning in 1517 is the
proper distinction between the Law and the Gospel. This week we will se this coming out in a very literal way. These passages are like "lived" parables. Here Jesus forgives the sins of a paralyzed man. The religious leaders (the legal experts/lawyers) are shocked. If I sin against my brother then my sister cannot come in and forgive. That is simply ridiculous! But God can, since God is the ultimate judge (Psalm 51:4). But here is this man, Jesus (also God, but they don't know that), who is going around forgiving sins as if he is God! But that is the Gospel which is completely different from the law. The Gospel is God's undeserved, unmerited, unearned mercy, grace, and forgiveness...for you! Now, as Christians baptized in the name of Jesus, WE can forgive sins, too!