Numbers 35:1-34; Luke 5:17-28; Psalms 66:1-7; Proverbs 17:2-3
NT: “Just then some men came, carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts? 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” — he told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe and said, “We have seen incredible things today.”” (Luke 5:18-26 CSB)
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was able to discern the root cause of the man’s paralysis. Apparently, the man’s past sins had somehow led to his condition, and the way to heal his paralysis was to address his unforgiven sin. So Jesus forgave his sins… and the religious leaders freaked out a little. To prove that He, the Son of Man, had the authority to forgive sins, a miraculous sign followed Jesus’ claim and the paralyzed man got up, picked up his stretcher, and walked out the door. The people were in awe: not only could Jesus heal and cast out demons – He could forgive sins! Oftentimes, our sin can paralyze us as well. Unforgiven sin will paralyze us from walking in righteousness… doing what is right. Unforgiven sin will paralyze our process of drawing near to God and receiving His life and blessing. Unforgiven sin can even paralyze us in fear – fear of the unknown… fear that our past will come back to haunt us… fear that we will be found out. How many of us are paralyzed in their ability to think and do rightly because of unconfessed and unforgiven sin? Imagine what the world would be like if more people were forgiven of their sin and were given the grace to think right thoughts, do right things, and behave in right ways? Jesus has the authority to forgive our sin and restore our ability to walk in our true purpose and calling. That is awesome!
Psalms: “Let the whole earth shout joyfully to God! Sing about the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, “How awe-inspiring are your works! Your enemies will cringe before you because of your great strength. The whole earth will worship you and sing praise to you. They will sing praise to your name.” Selah Come and see the wonders of God; his acts for humanity are awe-inspiring.” (Psalms 66:1-5 CSB)
God’s ability to forgive sin, renovate people’s lives, reform people’s thinking, and reorient the direction of their lives is awe-inspiring. The work of God goes way beyond just behavior modification. It is complete and total transformation. People that surrender to Him are born again. Their past is expunged and all charges are dropped. He makes all things new. Come and see the wonders of God. What He does in and through lives that are truly surrendered to Him is indescribably awesome!