My Daily Journal:
I loved going to the Mark and Luke passages in addition to the Matthew story. The other gospels really highlight the love, faith and creativity of the friends of this paralyzed man. To have such friends and to be such a friend to others.
But, focusing on the Matthew passage, the lack of those elements of the story draws even more to the importance of the story to highlight Jesus’ authority and power over sin.
My children with their school would occasionally go on a field trip. To go, they needed two things: money (to cover admission or other expenses) and a signed permission slip. The child cannot sign their own permission slip. A friend cannot sign it. The teacher or principal cannot sign it. They do not have the authority. Only the one in charge, that child’s parent, can sign it. The child may have the money (power), but without the signed authorization, they are not getting on the bus.
If the bank loans you money to buy a car, do I have the authority to forgive that debt? Can I so, you no longer owe? Unless I am the bank, that would be fraud, it would be a lie.
Psalm 51.4 reminds us that all sin is against God and God alone. That doesn’t mean we don’t harm others through our sin, it means the withdrawal we make through sin comes from God’s bank. He alone holds the note of our debt.
So, who can say “your sins are forgiven?” Only one with the authority to speak as the holder of the instrument of debt. Only God Himself can forgive sin.
If Jesus is not God, then He just committed fraud. He signed a document that only God has the authority to sign. The teachers of the law recognized this – their thoughts immediately went to blasphemy, claiming to be God when you are not. But they failed to consider the alternative: Jesus is God. He holds both the authority and power in His hands. He says with authority, quit making payments and then he acts with power to pay the debt in full on our behalf.
Words and actions, Authority and Power, Fully man and fully God.
The men who brought the paralyzed man
Through prayer, through love, through words, through the spirit, through scripture, through music, through events
2. son; your sins are forgiven 6. Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins
got up and went home. He obeyed.
Mark: gathered in such large #s no room left, 4 men carrying made opening in roof then lowered man on mat, Jesus knew in his spirit what they were thinking. Luke: Pharisees and teacher sitting there, power of Lord with Jesus to heal, through the roof tiles, “Friend” “Who can forgive sins but God alone”, went home praising God, seen remarkable things