MUSINGS – September 22 2018
GOD OR BLASPHEMER
“Four men came to him carrying a paralyzed man. Since they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof over the place where Jesus was. Then they lowered the cot on which the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus qaasaw their faith, he said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Some scribes were sitting there. They thought, “Why does he talk this way? He’s dishonoring God. Who besides God can forgive sins?” At once, Jesus knew inwardly what they were thinking. He asked them, “Why do you have these thoughts? Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your cot, and walk’? I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then he said to the paralyzed man, “I’m telling you to get up, pick up your cot, and go home!” The man got up, immediately picked up his cot, and walked away while everyone watched. Everyone was amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never ,5seen anything like this.”
Yesterday’s Musings was about the first part of the story where the man’s faithful friends brought him to Jesus. But this is the rest of the story.
There is an ironic saying that no good deed goes unpunished. You see, Jesus did more than heal a lame person. He forgave his sins. When the scripts heard this they asked, “Who besides God can forgive sins?” For the scribes it really wasn’t so much a question as an accusation. Jesus was claiming a power that only belongs to God, the ability to forgive sins.
Most of the religious leaders saw his power and heard his teaching and rejected the fact that his was Immanuel (God with us). When Jesus claimed the right to forgive sins, the scribes saw it as blasphemy (cursing the name of God).
We have only two choices in what we believe about Jesus: either he is God or a he is a blasphemer.
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