20When Jesus saw the faith [of the men who had brought to him the paralyzed man], he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’
21Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 22When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you”, or to say, “Stand up and walk”? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralysed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’25Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’
Jesus is in the business of removing impediments to love. “Your sins are forgiven you” means that all the obstacles to the free working of love in your life are dealt with; they have been taken care of.
The challenge of the Christian life is not to make myself a better person. The challenge is to live in the fullness of that proclamation of forgiveness that Jesus made. Later in Luke’s Gospel Jesus will declare,
the kingdom of God has come to you. (Luke 11:20)
The “power of the Lord” is present. It is always present. The problem is my lack of awareness. These friends who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus, were conscious of the “the power of the Lord… to heal” that was manifest in Jesus.
To hear the proclamation that “my sins are forgiven” is to know that I am healed. I no longer need to climb “up on the roof” to get to Jesus. His presence is here. The barriers have been dissolved.
This is the good news that caused such “Amazement” to seize them all and such “awe” to fill their lives. There are no more barriers to the healing presence of God. The impediments between me and God have been removed. As my heart opens to this awareness, I am freed from my paralysis and empowered to live in the fullness of that light and love for which my heart longs.