Matthew 9:1–8 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins
are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your
hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive
sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified
God, who had given such authority to men.
The paralytic who is brought to Jesus no doubt hopes for physical healing. He receives an even greater blessing: absolution. The word “absolve” comes from Lat ab (“from”) and solvere (“loose”) and refers to the sacred act of loosening a person from sin, to free one from guilt. When we confess our sins,
whether publicly or privately, and hear God’s word of forgiveness spoken to us, then, like the paralytic, we are absolved. Luther called absolution “a great and precious and magnificently splendid treasure” and urged believers “to accept
it with all praise and thanksgiving to God” (BEC 22).
I pray: Jesus, precious Savior, cheer me with Your Word that I am washed clean from all my