Matthew 9:5 – Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? NIV
This question is a follow-up of the previous statement and question when Jesus returned to Capernaum (his base of operations on the Sea of Galilee). He was known for his healing; but when he encountered a paralytic man instead of healing him, He told him that “his sins were forgiven.” This shocked most of his audience, many of whom were ready to accuse him of blasphemy. So he countered with the above question.
It is an interesting question the way Jesus phrased it. He asked, “Which is easier to say…” If one says, “Get up and walk,” then you have immediate proof of whether or not you have the power to do that. If one says “Your sins are forgiven,” how do you know that’s true? How do you know if one has the power to do that? What is the evidence? So in my opinion, it’s easier to say “Your sins are forgiven,” but it’s harder to prove you’ve got the power to do that. His listeners probably thought the same thing.
Jesus then tells the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” The man promptly did what Jesus told him to do, and everyone stood around with their mouths open. Jesus was proving to the crowd that He has power in both the physical and spiritual realms. He has the power heal our physical bodies, and He has the power to heal our immortal souls. Which healing is the most important? Which healing requires the most power?
Often I’m consumed with the physical: my health, my provisions, my preparation to care for myself physically, and I neglect my soul care. Jesus cares about both, but only one lasts for eternity. Perhaps I need to consider more carefully how to live as a forgiven soul as I follow Jesus physically.