90. Authority to forgive.
"Take heart son; your sins are forgiven."( Matthew 9:2) The tenderness with which Jesus addressed the paralytic, reveals his heart to forgive. But inorder for Jesus to heal the paralytic, he first had to forgive his sins before healing him because Jesus discerned that it was the man's sins that were responsible for his situation. (This necessarily is not always the case as Jesus himself once made it clear - John 9:2-3) But the teachers of the law thought it was blasphemous for a man to forgive sins. 'Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said ," ... Which is easier : to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk' ? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." (Matthew 9:5-6) Moreover, he delegated this authority to his disciples too : "If you forgive anyone their sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (John 20:23) Doesn't that sound implausible ( a statement not seeming reasonable or probable; failing to convince)? However, the Apostles understood the significance of this delegation because if they had to operate in the ministry of healing, they would have to deal with the unconfessed sins of others. The paralytic never came asking for forgiveness but for healing. Nevertheless, Jesus had to forgive his sins first, because that is the divine order of things in God's kingdom. Learning to forgive others opens up the channel of God's power in our own lives. Forgiveness is meant to be contagious and passed on to others. 'Forgive as the Lord forgave you.'(Colossians 3:13) Amen.