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The healing of a paralytic

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Luke 5:17-26

One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with Him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in His presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”

REFLECTION

YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN. Jesus’ healing the paralytic by forgiving his sins is too much for the Pharisees and teachers of the law who have witnessed it. The power to forgive, as far as they know, is God’s prerogative alone; thus, Jesus blasphemes when He claims to be able to forgive sins.

In a sense, they are justified in feeling that way. But Jesus is inviting them precisely to see in Him someone more than a human being: that He is sent from God to effect what God wills for His people.

We see the contrast in those who have witnessed the cure of the paralytic: Struck with awe, they give praise to God for having witnessed such a marvelous event.

Do you willingly recognize God’s instruments  by their work rather than by their appearance?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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