Christ and the Experts – part 3

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Luke 5 v 20. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven”.

Once again I urge you to read the whole passage referred to above. The “experts” in this story are mentioned in v 17. They were the Pharisees and teachers of the law. These men were experts of the law in the Judaism theology. Remember Luke wants his friend Theopholus to know what kind of people were involved in the unfolding story of Jesus.

The story is very familiar to all readers of the bible. A few friends let a paralytic friend down through a roof, before Jesus, because the crowd around him was so dense. But Jesus gave the man an unexpected gift – forgiveness of sin.

Now, keep in mind, in Judaism, everybody knew that God was merciful and forgave sins. Priests could pronounce forgiveness to people after due sacrifices had been made. But Jesus now introduces something entirely new. He, Jesus, could personally forgive sins, and in fact he did so. This resulted in accusations of blasphemy. But instead of arguing with them Christ demonstrated by a miracle that he, personally, as Son of Man had authority here on earth to pronounce absolute and final forgiveness in his own name (5 vs 22-25). He healed the paralytic who went home praising God and left the crowd of people amazed.

Christ’s word of forgiveness speaks to the very conscience and when we are forgiven, we are forgiven indeed. It has often been speculated on whether there was a link between the man’s sinful conscience and his physical condition. The truth is we don’t know. But it is quite justifiable to point out that in our day and age, we now do know that often there is a link between our past and our sense of well-being. Many of us carry baggage and regrets that sometimes weigh us down. We should remember that this word of forgiveness is final, even to those secret things that cause dark moments of regret and depression.

We must, like the man in this story, go home praising God for his forgiveness in a remarkable thing done for you and to you.

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