The Pharisees and teachers of religious law certainly didn’t believe Jesus was the son of God. They genuinely believed Jesus was blaspheming when he said “young man, your sins are forgiven.”(Luke 5:20) But Jesus isn’t worried about the terminology or the theology. He heals the man anyway and just re-phrases what he says. Jesus saw the faith the men had in him, he recognises that they had turned to him and so, in acknowledgement of that faith, Jesus healed the man of his handicap and healed him of his sin too. The Pharisees were tragically blind to the Lord’s healing power because they believed that only God could forgive sin. You have to conclude that they had completely lost sight of God, and perhaps lost their belief in him too, amongst all the law and legal argument they were immersed in.
Luke 5:17-26 NLT
One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. Some men came carrying a paralysed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralysed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”
As a child I often wondered if the chaplains and other preachers I heard delivering their sermons really believed in God. It seemed to me that what they were saying made a lot of sense, but sadly I never seemed to see much evidence of anyone actually doing it. Nobody seemed to be demonstrating, or should I say, practicing what they preached!
My goal is to try to preach less and demonstrate more!
Numbers 33:40-35:34, Luke 5:12-28, Psalms 65:1-13, Proverbs 11:23