February 13, 2008

Forgiveness: Rejecting It

Luke 5:17-26

?Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone??
Luke 5:21


Having a healthy spiritual life includes being able to recognize and receive the good things God gives believers in any circumstance. Sometimes God gives us things that are very surprising. Yesterday we saw that the man whom Jesus healed received forgiveness of sins in a surprising way. He had come to Jesus to be healed of paralysis, but when Jesus saw his faith, the man received forgiveness first. This man learned quickly how to receive and respond to Jesus? forgiveness.

In that same room were Pharisees and teachers of the law. They were sophisticated, highly educated people. They knew the Hebrew Scriptures backwards and forwards. In fact, they were right when they asked their second question: ?Who can forgive sins but God alone??

They were in the presence of God as they heard and saw Jesus. In just a few moments they would see the clear evidence of Jesus? divine power as he healed the paralyzed man. But they had already decided that this was not a setting where sin could be forgiven. They certainly wouldn?t think about trusting that Jesus was himself God in human flesh. They had quit being ready for God to surprise them. Because of that, they rejected the very God who could forgive.

Have you ever thought you were at a place where God could not forgive or heal you?

God of all people, may we believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, came to save us and can forgive whatever wrong we do or think. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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