What is the connection between the healing of the paralytic in P. Matthew 9.6 and B. Isaiah 43.25?:
‘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.’
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
The incident of the paralytic began in Matthew 9.3:
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?
The reaction of ‘the scribes’ is correct because they knew the verse in Isaiah 43.25, ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’
Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ The only logical conclusion from this comment is that Jesus is stating clearly, and unequivocally, that He is God.
The clergy of many Christian denominations do not accept that God alone can forgive sins. For example, the Roman Catholic Catechism teaches that the Church has the power and authority to forgive people's sins. Here are a few quotes:
There is no offence, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive.
By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized...
Bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins.
Anglican priests are commissioned to absolve those who turn to Him in faith during their Ordination service.
The Prophet Jeremiah experienced the same problem of priests who hijacked the LORD’s job:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? Jeremiah 5:31
The real problem is that those today claiming that power have effectively placed themselves equal with Jesus Christ Himself. Whilst they take on the power to forgive all sins, they fail to realise that, according to the incident of the paralytic in Matthew 9, the forgiveness of his sins resulted in his healing and he took up his bed and walked.
When bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, exercise their power to forgive all sins…..do those forgiven also receive healing for all their physical, mental, and emotional conditions?
The purpose of this blog is NOT to criticize Christian denominations. Rather, the purpose is to point out that to try and hijack that God alone can forgive sins…..without the additional element of healing, is to sell believers dramatically short. What a tragedy!
Until the next blog….