His Inexpressible Gift

 

And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. Luke 5:18-19

I have always loved this story. It shows us of the great love and compassion that Jesus had for the crowds. It reminds us, too, of the goodness, mercy and dedication of these friends to their paralyzed companion – in bringing him (even with roadblocks, so to speak) to Jesus. And yet, there is more to this passage.

Jesus was healing many people. These friends brought their paralyzed friend, presumably, to be healed of his paralysis.

They, like us, were bringing their brokenness, their problems, their burdens to Jesus. But read that next verse:

And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:20

When Jesus looks at this man, he doesn’t see what the world sees. He doesn’t see all the many things this man can’t do. Or all the sins the paralytic and his friends must have committed (they are in the category of “human beings” after all). What does he see?

Their faith.

And I wonder, what kind of faith does Jesus see when he looks at me?

But the sentence doesn’t end there:

And when he saw their faith, he said, Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:20

Can you imagine their surprise? Perhaps even disappointment or disillusionment? Confusion? Relief?

I can. I’ve felt something akin to that. I bring what I think is the problem to Jesus -something that is humanly obvious, humanly weak, humanly broken. And instead of seeing the human side, Jesus sees right through us to the real problem: the problem of my heart. The problem of my sin. The problem that can kill me.

And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:20

Forgiveness. From someone who sees everything, who knows my faith, who knows my sin, who knows my heart and my innermost questions, thoughts, burdens, and doubts. Think of the beauty, the magnitude, and the relief of that kind of forgiveness.

Jesus not only sees our worst problem – he can do something about it. In fact, he is the only one who can do something about it.

And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. Luke 5:21-25

This same Jesus who can heal the paralytic, who can see people’s faith, who can see their desperate longings – He can forgive sins.

2 Cor 9 15

Photo credit (top): lefteye81 via Pixabay
Photo credit (with inserted scripture): Austin Johnson via spark

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