Lenten Devotion Day 24

All Is Forgiven

The Paralytic Is Forgiven

Forgiveness. What an incredible concept! It is so easy for us to hang on to our anger, our hurt, hardening our hearts so we are unable to forgive. We’re unforgiving, not just of those who have wronged us directly or wronged someone close to us but we also remain unforgiving of those that have done wrong in society, history, anywhere we encounter them.

An inability to forgive. Bitterness. We hug it to our hearts like a favorite toy, letting its pain fill our hearts. Such an incredible form of self-torture! Why would we cause ourselves so much pain when it’s so simple to forgive and let go of the agony?

In Jesus’ day, sinners could be found everywhere, as defined by the Temple rulers. Any lingering sickness or physical weakness was seen as a physical manifestation of sin, God’s punishment on those who did not live a right life. SIGH! How sad to think people with physical problems didn’t suffer enough from their disability without having guilt heaped on top of them.

Today’s story is interesting. Rather than healing the man of his paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus then tells the man to stand up and go home, which the man does. The scribes are appalled that Jesus thinks He has the power to forgive sins.

Now, think about it: Jesus forgives the man’s sins, tells him to get up and the man gets up and walks home. The scribes witness the amazing power of God and they CRITICIZE JESUS! Were they crazy? No, their hearts were hard. They refused to forgive. They were unable to identify with a loving and forgiving God. They preferred to remain bitter and hateful. How sad!

The scribes were limited in ministry by their inability to forgive. Consider how much more you could do if you only opened your heart and forgave people. Think you can’t because the hurt, the injustice done against you is too big? Jesus forgave those that crucified Him while He was on the Cross. Do you really think your injustice is bigger than that?

Discussion Questions

1. What hurt are you holding in your heart?

2. How can you move past it so you can forgive?

3. What makes you hold so tight to the wrongs in your life?

4. How can you help your children learn to forgive?

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