October 3 I Monday
“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” —Matthew 9:5
Jesus poses an interesting question in the opening verse of this devotion. Which is easier? We may choose, “Your sins are forgiven” because no one can tell if what we said has actually happened as there is no empirical evidence on the surface of our lives to say if our claim of that outcome is validated. If we were to say, “Get up and walk” and the person we say it to cannot get up and walk, then we have become exposed.
Why did Jesus ask that question? He answers, “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6). Jesus is being crystal clear with everybody in the room; He is not hiding who He is. Jesus also drops another theological indicator of who He is and the experts of the law who are present as Jesus is teaching would have caught it. Jesus says, “The Son of Man has authority…” which is a direct quote from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament.
Daniel was one of the most famous prophets in the time of the exile. He was given a vision of the future and he saw a man like the Son of Man. He explains, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was One like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14). In Jesus’s reasoning, He just announced that He is the Son of Man from Daniel’s vision. But more than that, Jesus has just made an absolute monotheistic statement, because if only God has the authority to forgive sins and Jesus has just displayed the authority to forgive this man’s sins, then Jesus must be God. In the presence of the experts of the law stood the Lord of the Old Testament clothed with humanity.
Not only does Jesus forgive the paralyzed man’s sins, He also tells him, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Jesus enables the man to walk out in a new power, in a new life, in a completely new experience of God. Jesus is not simply the Forgiver of our sins; He is the means by which we walk out the Christian life. Have we experienced the forgiveness of Jesus in our life? Are we ready to get up from our mat and walk in newness of life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me newness of life in You. With every breath of my life, I want to honour and praise You every day. Amen!