Forgiveness Requires Power

Matthew 9:5: For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Jesus proved His power to forgive sin by healing sick individuals.


He answers their evil thoughts by a question which was to them unanswerable. Surely the two things are equally beyond human power to work. But to say *Thy sins be forgiven thee*, is the easier to all appearance, because no apparent result is expected to follow by which the reality of the speech can be tested. Thousands have pretended to absolve a man from sin, who would not have dared to command a disease to disappear. The difference in merely saying is all in favor of the first speech. If we compare the two miracles, it would be long before one could arrive at an answer as to which is the easier; for they are both impossible with men. In some respects the pardon of sin is the greater work of the two, for its accomplishment requires the whole apparatus of incarnation and atonement. Our Lord wrought both miracles, and thus confirmed his claim of power by a visible sign which none could question. He that can pardon my soul can heal my body; for that would seem to be the easier of the two deeds of mercy. I may bring both forms of malady to Jesus, and he will deal with them. Lord, heal my spirit and cure my flesh! Yea, thou wilt do this work most effectually by raising my body incorruptible as thine own.

People*s New Testament Commentary:

Whether is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee. To say, *Thy sins be forgiven thee,* was easy, for no visible result could test the saying. To say, *Take up thy bed and walk,* was not apparently so easy, for failure would cover with confusion. He said the last, leaving the inference--*If I can do the most difficult, then I can do the easier.*

I was a Lutheran for about 2 decades. In communion services the Pastor would make an announcement something like this:

Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

None of those men ever proved that they had the power or authority to heal or forgive sin and none of them will be able to prove it by raising our bodies incorruptible. None of them gave me peace with God as receiving Jesus did.

Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Jesus also proved His power to lay down His own life and take it again and therefore His resurrection power. He gave us life and can give us eternal life.

John 10:17: Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

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