Read Luke 5:17-26
“Which is easier? To say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?”
From a linguistic standpoint, it seems to be a virtual toss-up. But Jesus wasn’t talking about language skills. He was talking about truth statements. He was talking about His ability to perform what He was promising.
“Your sins are forgiven.” That was easily said, but no one was able to assess whether forgiveness had genuinely taken place. A person can mouth words like those and still hold a grudge. Besides, had the man really sinned against Him? If Jesus was God, He had. After all, all sin is against God.
So, the “forgiveness” statement? It was easy to make, hard to assess, and impossible to pull off unless Jesus is God.
“Get up and walk.” It is easy to verbalize that one. Performing healing is something else. The man was obviously unable to walk. To be sure, there was a reason for his disability; a reason that mere words from a mere mortal couldn’t deal with. To heal with words is something that would require supernatural intervention. And Christ’s ability to do it would be immediately obvious.
So, the “healing” statement? It was harder to make because it could be instantly assessed, and it would call for divine power.
Jesus healed the man! He spoke the words, and the man walked away. That healing also demonstrated His ability to fulfill the forgiveness. In reality, two miracles happened that day. A lame man walked. A sinner was forgiven. A physical reality was changed and a spiritual impediment was removed. A temporal disability was healed and an eternal destination was changed.
Which was the greater miracle? Life has trained us to prioritize the physical and the temporal, but Jesus invites us to lift our eyes to the spiritual and eternal. Have you experienced the miracle of sins forgiven because of the nail-scarred hands of Jesus? He alone can speak the words over your life, “Your sins are forgiven!” Don’t stop reveling in the amazing reality of that miracle!