The scribes came down on Jesus; they “said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.”

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 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.” (Matthew 9:3-6)

As an aside, it always amuses me that in the New Testament, they weren’t shocked with miracles at all. They found it easy to believe in miracles of healing. They were shocked when Jesus forgave sins. We have turned that around in much of today’s church world. Now we expect Jesus to forgive sins, but we are overly impressed if He performs miracles. Jesus puts it in proper perspective here: the miracles play second fiddle to the forgiveness of sins.

But I don’t think this man sick of palsy is alone. I would guess, in spite of the false front, there are some tormented with the same problem tormenting that man sick of palsy. No matter how much we preach against it and no matter how much we say that we have access by faith into a sphere of grace, way down deep in the secret heart of many of those who are sick is that nagging, hindering, pressuring fear: “I have done something wrong.”

If this message fits you, you are the one I am talking to. Your courage is gone; you can’t overcome your surface problem because of a nagging pressure that there is some sin you know about in your life that stands between you and that which you can receive from God. The message is the same today as it was then. I would hang a thread out and let these verses be the beads that I string on the thread; and the thread is “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

(Hebrews 13:8)

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