In Luke 5:18-26, we read of a full house of people who had come from all around the region to hear Jesus teach. A paralyzed man's friends carried him on a mat to that location. They had heard that Jesus was a healer, and they trekked across Galilee to find him. The crowd was so huge that the men carrying the paralyzed man couldn't push through. So they climbed onto the roof and took off some tiles. Ingenious, right? They lowered their friend through the roof, right in front of Jesus.
The man's physical need was apparent, but Jesus said something surprising: "Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, 'Young man, your sins are forgiven'" (Luke 5:20).
Were the friends confused by Jesus' words? Maybe. The Pharisees sitting there certainly were. They could only see the obvious physical impairment. But Jesus saw the whole man. He started from the inside out.
On hearing that his sins were forgiven, the paralyzed man could have called it a day—"Take me home. This guy hasn't got a clue!" But instead he surrendered to Jesus. Even though he could have argued that the real problem was his legs, he followed Jesus' instructions. In faith, he jumped to his feet, picked up his mat, and danced all the way home as he praised God.
What Is Forgiveness?
How many times do we bring the obvious to God?
Lord, she hurt me.
God, I can't sleep.
I'm angry and I yell at my kids. Make it stop.
I don't feel like a Christian.
And yet how many times does God look beyond what is in plain sight to the heart issue? He does it every time.1