by Dr. Ray Pritchard
This is a trick question, sort of. It was Jesus' way of making his critics think and think some more. Anyone could say, "Your sins are forgiven." It's not hard to utter those four words. But how would anyone know those words had power? Jesus healed the paralytic so that his critics would know that he had the power to forgive sin. The teachers of the law were right on one point. Only God can forgive sin (v. 6). And if Jesus is not God, then he is indeed a blasphemer and should be stoned. But if he is truly God, then he can both heal and forgive. Which is precisely what he does. There are two miracles in this story-one visible, the other invisible. It's good to heal a paralytic, but it is far better to have your sins forgiven. The healed paralytic will still die someday and go out into eternity to face the Lord. What then? In that day it won't be enough to say, "Jesus healed me."
"Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?"
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