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7. Christ’s Authority and Power to Forgive and to Heal
(Matthew 9:1-8)
1So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.2Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”3And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This man blasphemes!”4But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?6But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”7And he arose and departed to his house.8Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men. (Exodus34:6-7; Psalm103:3; Mark2:1-12; Luke5:17-26)

Christ is triumphant over diseases, nature’s elements and evil spirits. He is also the One who forgives sins. In the previously mentioned events, we find that sin, in general, is the reason for disease, disorder and death, for it separates us from God and His peace. He who lives away from his Lord is very mistaken. Paul, the apostle, makes clear that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Christ had an eye to the depressed conscience of the sick in front of Him. He could not heal him before wiping out his sins, but He would not forgive them unless the sinner opens himself completely to the remedy. He saw the faith of the four friends of the sick who brought him and, through the opened roof, let him come down in front Him. When He became certain of the paralytic’s confidence, Jesus called him, His son in faith, forgave his sins with his powerful word and cleaned him from his iniquities. Jesus in His divine authority has the right and the power to forgive sins. The guilty immediately became innocent and a son of God by grace.
Christ bid the sick take up his bed, to show that he was perfectly cured, and that not only he had no more occasion to be carried upon his bed, but that he had strength to carry it. He sent him to his house, to be a blessing to his family, where he had been so long a burden. Jesus did not take him along with Him for a show, which those who seek the honor of men would do.
How great is Christ’s love apparent in the remission of sins. Could Christ free you with His word from all your sins? The answer to this question is more important in your life than all diplomas, certificates and exams. To become certain of the remission of your sins, look at the crucified Christ, who took away your sins and died as the offering of reconciliation for you. Whoever believes in Him is justified, and whoever opens himself to His love experiences salvation in his heart.
When Christ pardoned the sins of the paralytic laid before His feet, the experts of the Scriptures embarrassed him, became angry and charged Him with blasphemy. They did not believe in His divinity and considered Him a breaker of the law who deserved stoning. Christ immediately knew their thoughts. He has perfect knowledge of all that we think and say within ourselves. Thoughts are secret and sudden, yet naked and open before Christ, the eternal word, and He understands them afar off.
Then Christ did not declare to them that He was the Son of the Almighty God. He called Himself “the Son of Man,” that they might start thinking of Him, the greatest miracle. Daniel 7:13-14 reveals that the Son of Man is the Eternal Judge and Lord of the Universe, whom the scribes condemned blindly.
Christ did not reject His enemies, but proved to them that the Son of Man has the right and the authority to forgive sins, by declaring the paralytic man was cured. When Christ turned to the sick, a power went out through His divine word and entered into the patient’s body and the latter felt refreshment and renewal. He jumped, ran and took up his bed, symbolizing the power of Christ.
Let us take one another to Jesus to be treated, pardoned and cured of our spiritual paralysis, that the power of the crucified may raise us for a life full of movement and service and that we may serve the Nazarene to testify of the greatness of His authority.

O Father, we acclaim You, for Your Son has forgiven all our sins and completely wiped them out because of His death on the cross. We glorify You and we worship Your love, asking You to save many lost ones who have not yet known the salvation of Your kingdom. We mention before You those who hunger for righteousness in their surroundings, and we mention the names of some opposing Your love. We thank You that You hear our prayer and heal, save and bless us.
How did Jesus forgive the sins of the paralytic?