What is easier to say “Your Sins are Forgiven” or “Get up and Walk?” For someone who has been paralyzed it’s easier to say “your sins are forgiven.” But to say is different than to do. Both statements are hard to do because both statements can only be done by the Lord.
It’s such a joy for me to be able to study Matthew 9:1-8 where Jesus heals the paralytic. When I read verse 5, I immediately said to myself: “well, it’s easier to say your sins are forgiven.”
Matthew 9:5 – Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?
It’s easy to say this because there is no visible output that we are expecting to see unlike the other statement which means that once you declare that, you need to see the person standup and walk again.
When Jesus first said, “your sins are forgiven” in verse 2, some of the scribes immediately thought this is outrageous.
Matthew 9:2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”
They knew only God can forgive sin. The sad part of about this is, they never acknowledge Jesus was God. So Jesus asked them what is easier to say “Your Sins are Forgiven” or “Get up and Walk?” He knew in their hearts that they did not believe He was God. So in order to show who He was, he said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up you bed and go home.” And so he did. Now, if Jesus was able to heal a man who wasn’t able to walk since his birth, wouldn’t he be able to forgive sin? Again, only God can forgive sin. But only God can also heal a paralytic.
The result is in verse 8.
8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
They were awestruck. He has the authority to forgive sin. He has the authority over diseases and physical infirmities. They knew they were in the presence of God, and who wouldn’t be?