“What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” (Lk 5:22-24)
“What were you thinking?!”
That question was most often asked of me by my mother or father as I was growing up when I did something incredibly stupid. Not the normal, typical stupid; but, the incredibly stupid. I am sure you can all relate to your own stories as well.
What were you thinking? Newspaper bags are not the same as parachutes. What were you thinking? Paper soaked in paint thinner cannot simply be dropped into an incinerator. What were you thinking? Digging an incredibly huge hole and covering it with plywood will not keep a tractor from crashing down into it.
Okay. So maybe those are my stories and not you own. But, I think, you get the picture.
Jesus asked something similar when He posed the question, “What are you thinking in your hearts?” He knew what they were thinking. They were thinking that Jesus was a fake, a sham. They did not think he was the Son of God, the Messiah. Many did not even think He was a good rabbi. Certainly, they would not think that Jesus would be able to forgive the sins of the paralytic.
Jesus keyed in on the main ingredient to that forgiveness: faith in Him. It was absolute belief that caused the people to go up on a roof and it was absolute faith that prompted them to lower the paralytic from a hole made in the roof.
On Jesus’ part, it was absolute love that caused Him for forgive — and heal — the paralytic.
Jesus made it clear then and continues to make it clear today that He will not allow anyone to get in the way of a person’s faith in Him. If we have the same faith exemplified in the Gospel, Jesus can and will work wonders for us.
The hard question being asked of us today, though, is to which group of people do we belong? Do we belong to those who believe the man can and will be healed by the Lord? Or, do we belong to the group of people who say, “Who does He think He is?”
FAITH ACTION: With total faith and confidence, ask the Lord for whatever it is you need. He can and does provide to His people, provided they have the faith required of them.