“Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were…reasoning in their hearts…‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’…He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’” - Mark 2:5-11 NASB
The need seemed obvious. The man was a paralytic and clearly wanted healing. Yet, after the man was lowered through the roof into the home where Jesus was teaching, He first forgave the sins of the paralytic. To the scribes in the room, this was blasphemy!
Jesus asked if they thought it was “easier” to forgive sins or heal the man (v. 9). The scribes might have thought that there were degrees of difficulty. But Jesus demonstrated that, with Him, there were no barriers. He had full “authority on earth” (v. 10). As proof, He then healed the man. He could both heal and forgive.
Jesus also was demonstrating that there’s a connection between the physical and emotional parts of our lives. In fact, doctors today have confirmed the strong link between forgiveness and health.
For example, a recent study concluded that “chronic unforgiveness causes stress. Every time people think of their transgressor, their body responds.” One doctor explained that unforgiveness leads to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. It affects the immune and cardiovascular systems. But forgiveness changes everything.
In your life, think about the three lessons from this story. First, Jesus can do anything. He can heal any disease and solve any problem. Second, He is concerned about your whole being, not just your body, but your thoughts and emotions.
Third, bear in mind the connection between health and forgiveness. Remember: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Accept His forgiveness, and be His messenger of forgiveness in the lives of others. Let Him lift your burdens and wash away your guilt.
PrayerFather, thank You for forgiving my sins. Thank You for setting me free from guilt and shame. Thank You for giving me peace of mind and good health! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMark 2