Our Main Need

What a strange thing to say! Here lies a man who cannot walk, and Jesus tells him to cheer up, because his sins are forgiven. Does our Lord not know that a crippling disability grips his entire life, keeping him for work, from friends, perhaps even from worship? Yes, Jesus knows all that, and more. He realizes that paralysis of the soul brings even greater affliction. It is one thing not to be able to go see your friends, but not being able to approach God because of sin is far worse. The healthiest, most active person will someday succumb to a final illness and be laid onto a bed from which he will never rise. But the unforgiven sinner will be cast into what Jesus earlier called “hell fire” – an eternity of torment, anguish, and alienation from God. We don’t know whether any particular offense against God caused this man’s paralysis, but we do know that all sickness comes ultimately from sin, and will lead to death. Thus, seeing this disabled man before Him, Jesus at once dealt with his greatest need: Forgiveness. “Cheer up! Though in this life you may never walk, you will, on the last day, rise up to eternal life, clothed with a glorious body. From that time forward, you will run with the gazelles on the mountain tops and leap with everlasting joy. You will at any time be able to approach God and know His love and pleasure.” “Cheer up! Whatever sins you have committed – self-pity, self-indulgence, self-righteousness – are pardoned.” God the Father will speak the same words of comfort today to all who believe in His Son Jesus as sacrifice and savior. “In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7).