The Greatest Gift
By Caron Cline
As word spread concerning the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, Pharisees and teachers of the law traveled from every village in Galilee and Judea as well as from Jerusalem, to investigate this new teaching. These men intermingled with the crowd, anxiously awaiting an opportunity to judge the words and deeds of Jesus.
Despite their skepticism, the power of the Lord was present to heal. Some men arrived, carrying a paralyzed friend on a stretcher, however, the crowd surrounding Jesus was too dense to penetrate. Rather than yielding to defeat, the men climbed to the roof and lowered the paralytic through the tiles to the very feet of the Healer. Jesus stopped the sermon; the crowd grew still; the power to heal permeated the atmosphere. However, Jesus astounded the crowd by saying, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you’. Were the friends of this man disappointed with these words? After all, this man’s greatest need appeared to be physical healing.
Jesus’ words produced self-righteous indignation in the minds of the Pharisees and Scribes. Only God can forgive sins, an accurate assessment, meaning Jesus was equating Himself with Jehovah. The implications were not lost on these religious leaders, who considered His words blasphemy against God. Reading the minds of the men, He turned and asked this question: “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you’, or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? As the Son of God and the Son of Man, Jesus had the authority to both forgive sins and restore mobility to this paralyzed man.
In the presence of all, Jesus revealed His true identity by speaking words of healing, ‘I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home’. Immediately, he followed Jesus’ instructions and joyfully received complete deliverance, giving glory to God. Regardless of the doubts of the religious leaders, this man knew he had been touched by Almighty God through Jesus Christ. Everyone present was struck with astonishment and joined their voices in praise and thanksgiving. The fear of the Lord filled these witnesses at the realization that this man had been changed inwardly as well as outwardly. He was now completely whole.
Our physical needs, regardless of their severity, pale in comparison to our spiritual needs. Jesus has been given the Name that is above every Name; He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth to forgive our sins, cover them by His blood, and remember them no more. Forgiveness is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive yet, He has also been given the same authority to heal all our diseases, for by His wounds we are healed! May we offer the sacrifice of praise this Thanksgiving to our Savior, Who sacrificed Himself for our redemption and restoration.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases”.
Caron is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. She loves to teach the word of God.
Her desire is to see every believer grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
You can read more Christian News from Caron HERE.