Which is Easier? Part 1

Carrying paralyzed man to JesusWhich is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’?

–Luke 5:23

Jesus posed a very penetrating question in Luke 5. He was already seeing the power of God released as He ministered. He had seen miracles over nature as well as healings and deliverances. Through it all He was finding time alone with God for prayer. And so we come to the occasion of this thought-provoking question. On this particular day, the power of the Lord is present for Jesus to perform healing even though there are Pharisees gathered simply to find fault with Him.

Four men bring their paralyzed friend in faith that Jesus will heal him. Bypassing the crowd, they tear part of the roof off to lower their friend in front of Jesus. Jesus sees their faith and says, "Man, your sins are forgiven!"

"Wait a minute!" The friends wonder what's going on. They brought the friend for healing.

And "wait another minute!" The Pharisees are shocked at the blasphemy of One who claims to forgive sins. Only God can do that.

Jesus asks what is easier to say — "your sins are forgiven," or "rise up and walk." On one hand it is easier to say that sins are forgiven because there is no visible way to see if that happens. But if you tell someone to get up and walk, everyone will know if they are still laying immobile and paralyzed.

On the other hand, no one answers because everyone knows Jesus is about to do something. To prove His power to forgive sins while on earth, Jesus also tells the man to get up, pick up his bed and go home. And he does! No one can argue with Jesus' ability to heal or forgive sins. The crowd went wild glorifying God!

Fast forward twenty centuries to our time. Do we sometimes believe that it is easy for sins to be forgiven than to see a miracle of healing? Is it harder for God to heal than to save? Jesus proved they are equally easy to Him!

So let me challenge you today. Don't allow one to seem easy while the other seems hard. Jesus forgives sin and sinners, and He heals!

Image by www.lumoproject.com via http://www.freebibleimages.org

Stuart Sherrill

Written by : Stuart Sherrill

Bishop Stuart Sherrill is superintendent of the Heartland Conference IPHC, and is a church planter and former Discipleship Ministries Director. He and his wife Sheri have four children who are all serving the Lord. The recent addition of their first grandchild makes life complete.

The Sherrills enjoy visiting Heartland churches and cheering on our pastors, families, members as well as hosting conference events that bring all of our churches together!