Jesus returns to Capernaum, a place you will underline often in your journal. Jesus spends much of his ministry in this region. He enters a home packed to the walls with people. Dedicated friends bring a paralyzed man for Jesus to heal and (in desperation to reach him) they lower the man through the roof. Jesus honors their faith and declares the man’s sins forgiven.
The Pharisees have a huge problem with this statement. Sins could only be forgiven by a priest in the temple where God’s presence dwells. Jesus skips the whole religious process. He heals the man to prove his authority. He’s effectively saying, “You no longer have to go to a place to have your sins forgiven; you come to a person.” Jesus is God-in-flesh. He’s a mobile temple. He’s the walking, talking presence of God.
Jesus is unlike anyone else. He is ready, willing and eager to forgive. He is the only one who has the authority to forgive sin, and it’s the reason he left heaven and came to earth.
We may try to change ourselves or try to just be good enough for God. We go to church, read the Bible or join a small group to check off the to-do list. We vow to not indulge in that behavior again, lose our temper, watch that video or cross that sexual line. Yet we are unable to heal ourselves. Only Jesus can provide forgiveness of sins and heal our relationship with God. He is God’s presence and dwells with us through his Spirit when we turn to him and ask for forgiveness of sins.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Have you ever come to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins? You can decide today to follow him. Pray, “Jesus, I believe you are God’s perfect, sinless son and that only through you can I have forgiveness of sins. I can’t heal myself. I need you to forgive my sins and help me live in a way that honors you. I want to follow you and live my life your way, not mine.” If you have questions about what it means to follow Jesus, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have a conversation with you.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.