A paralyzed man is brought to Jesus by his friends, and Jesus tells him, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2) Has that ever bothered you? The Bible doesn’t give the man’s response, but it does mention that the scribes were pretty offended at this guy acting as if he could forgive sins. They just roll right over the fact that the reason the man is there is probably for something else entirely. If I were that guy, I would have been a bit incredulous.
So, why is this here, and why does Jesus seem to think that it is more important to forgive the sin than heal the body? Jesus even says that it’s easier to make the man walk, and then does so to prove that He has the power to forgive sins.
A few weeks ago, I heard a really beautiful explanation of this whole scene. When we sin, when we do things that separate us from God, block His voice in our lives, and keep us from being the person we were actually meant to be, it is a heavy load that weighs us down. Sometimes, we can even see this physically.
Removing that sin, being released from it and being given the grace to avoid it in the future allows us to move freely and takes away those parts of our lives that have become paralyzed. As we come to Jesus with our limitations and problems, we may not realize what is truly weighing us down. Fortunately, He can see. Whether or not He offers the healing we want, He will give us the healing we need, and that is enough.