And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 5:18-20 ESV
This is, of course, the beginning of the account of Jesus healing a paralytic. It is told in three of the Gospels – Matthew 9, Mark 2 and here in Luke 5.
The healing that comes is terrific! But it pales in comparison to that statement: ‘your sins are forgiven you.’ Eventually this man’s body failed and he died, but death could not take away his new life in Jesus!
It is breath-taking how quickly it all changes for him, moving from darkness to light in a single moment.
Charles Spurgeon pointed that out for me in his sermon on Luke 5:20, First Forgiveness, Then Healing:
Observe, that the pardon of sin came in a single sentence. He spake, and it was done. Jesus said “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee,” and they were forgiven him. Christ’s voice had such almighty power about it that it needed not to utter many words. There was no long lesson for the poor man to repeat, there was no intricate problem for him to work out in his mind. The Master said all that was required in that one sentence, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” The burden of a sinner does not need two ticks of the clock for it to be removed; swifter than the lightning’s hash is that verdict of absolution which comes from the eternal lips, when the sinner lies hoping, believing, repenting at the feet of Jesus. It was a single sentence which declared that the man was forgiven.
Simple. Beautiful. Eternal. And entirely about Jesus!