Memory Verse: Week of May 21st
Week of May 21st
 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.” (Luke 5:24 ESV)
[Context: This verse comes from the scene where a paralyzed man has some friends who believe that Jesus can heal him. In order to get their needy friend to Jesus, because of the crowd, they have to rip open a roof and lower their friend down on his mat to Jesus’ feet. Yet, instead of saying, “Rise up and walk,” Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven. Sometimes what we think is our greatest need, is not actually our most desperate and biggest problem.
What we need to realize is that the main problem in a person’s life is never their suffering; it’s their sin!
Deep in his heart, this paralytic man is almost surely saying, “If only I could walk again, then my life would be right. I’d never be unhappy, I’d never be discontented. I would never complain. If only I could walk, then everything would be right.” Jesus is saying, “My son, you’re mistaken.
Jesus says, “I’m the only Savior that if you get me, will fulfill you, and if you fail me, will forgive you.”
Since God alone can forgive sins, Jesus is claiming to be God come in human flesh. And to show that he does indeed have the authority to forgive sins, (which is difficult to prove with just words), Jesus also miraculously heals this man with a word (for that can be proven with their own eyes!).
In reality when comes to not just saying but to doing, it is a far more miraculous thing to forgive all your sins than to heal your body. The forgiveness is going to take the cross where Jesus is nailed paralyzed to a cross – where his own legs are nailed immobile to the cross, and where he shed his blood – with no friends caring for him – not his disciples – not the angels – not even his Father.
And in doing what Jesus does: telling this man his sins are forgiven and then healing him to show he has the authority to do both, he is taking the first steps towards the cross that will affect our forgiveness. The only reason Jesus can forgive him and heal him is because someday Jesus is going to lay down in death and rise for our justification.
You might think you know what you need, but Jesus knows what you really need. Our most basic and greatest need is a right relationship with God – being reconciled to God not as a boss but as a father, where we are a forgiven, loved, accepted child of God. And then we will be ultimately healed forever – in every way! That is the most important thing. That’s the most fundamental need.
This is why we need a relationship with God as Father, even more than we need to be well now in this present age. And when you have the forgiveness of sins – bringing you into a love relationship with the Father – you can handle the problems of life, which are temporary.]