Who is This Man?

This episode is the first of five controversies that run into chapter 6 of Luke. The question at hand in this passage isn’t mere physical healing but spiritual healing. How are the two related? And why does Jesus pair them together here? The Pharisees rightly ask of Jesus, who does he think he is? After all, only God can forgive sins. But what does this mean for all those who aren’t healed?

Jesus’ debates with the Pharisees would “be better seen as torrid insider debates between different versions of the same goal: the coming of God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven. – NT Wright

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Luke 5:17-26

A miracle is a sign of God’s victory over the powers of evil. It is an announcement that the new order is at hand…The miracles of Jesus are not just a validation of his mission and his teaching. They embody and are part of the good news! – Justo Gonzalez

Prayer Points
• Pray that GFC and our smaller faith communities (such as ministries, groups, etc.) in no way hinder someone from getting to Jesus.
• Pray that you and others are becoming the kind of people who embody the authentic Jesus. Confess where you fall short, revel in God’s grace, and commit to the next step.