And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Why did Jesus look at the man sick with palsy, “Thy sins be forgiven”? Many say that this man’s sin was caused by sin, and I believe that may have been true, but today I began to think about this passage in a way that I never saw before. Let me cover some ground first on faith:
We know that faith comes by hearing (referring to receiving) the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). We see the disciples asking Jesus to increase their faith, and His way of doing that was to give them something to receive; He told them that if they will believe, then they can exercise their authority over a mountain and command it to be cast into the sea (see Luke 17:5-6). It’s when we receive the Word of God, that our faith increases. Jesus simply gave them something to receive. We see Jesus telling people, “Your faith has made you whole.”
With that said, I believe that Jesus was simply giving the sick man something to receive when He said, “Thy sins be forgiven.” This man who was sick, was likely laboring under a heavy load of guilt and shame (as many are today, who are in need of a healing!). Jesus’ words telling him that his sins were forgiven, was all that was necessary to bring enormous healing to the man, not only mentally, but also physically. Many times, a person’s load of guilt and shame can serve as a wall to keep the person from receiving the healing (both mentally and physically) that they need.