Epiphany Week – Friday
Thy sins be forgiven thee. – Matthew 9:2.
When Jesus returned to His own city, Capernaum, and was in His dwelling, they brought a man to Him who was sick of the palsy and was lying on a bed. They had great difficulty in bringing him because of the crowd that blocked the street. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the sick of the palsy: “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” The Searcher of hearts saw that the sick man sought the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins above all things.
But certain of the scribes who were present said within themselves: “This man blasphemeth. Who can forgive sins but God only?” Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: “Wherefore think ye so evil in your hearts? For which 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 said He to the sick of the palsy): ‘Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.’ And he arose, and departed to his house. When the multitude saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, who had given such power unto men” (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26). Because of my sins, both inherited and actual, my greatest need is forgiveness for those sins. Without this forgiveness from God through Jesus’ sinless, perfect, and finished work of obedience for my disobedience; His suffering and death for my many violations of His holy Law, I surely would have deserved “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46a) and “the wrath of God” (John 3:36b). But, now, as a believer in Jesus, I have “everlasting life” (John 3:16b); I “have peace with God” (Romans 5:1). Therefore, I can “be of good cheer;” I can “rejoice in the Lord alway” (Philippians 4:4).
PRAYER – Lord God, continue to reassure me of Thy forgiveness for all my sins, all gained and earned for me through the flawless obedience and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, my dear Savior. I love the reassuring words of the Apostle Paul in II Corinthians 5: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them“ (v. 19). Keep me in Thy grace. O my God, that I never turn away from Thee as I hear Thy voice in the Holy Scriptures. Continue to hear my requests and answer them for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; my soul believe and doubt it not.
Why stagger at this Word of promise; hath Scripture ever falsehood taught?
Nay, then this Word must true remain, by grace thou, too, shalt heav’n obtain.
By grace, none dare lay claim to merit; our works and conduct have no worth.
God in His love sent our Redeemer, Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth.
His death did for our sins atone, and we are saved by grace alone.
Hymn 373, stanzas 1-2 (TLH)