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Daily Devotional

July 30

WHICH IS EASIER TO SAY: THY SINS BE FORGIVEN THEE, OR ARISE AND WALK?

by Henry T. Vriesen

Matthew 9; Mark 2; Luke 5

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. No doubt these people had come from various parts of Galilee. Near the crowd of people could be seen a poor man who had heard about the power of Jesus to do miracles. He was a leper (no man could cure this terrible disease) and he fell on his face before him, and besought him, saying, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Jesus looked with compassion upon the deplorable man, kneeling before him. He reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be thou clean.” And in a moment all the scales of leprosy fell away, his skin was renewed, and he was well. And Jesus said to him, “Go and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” And he asked the man to tell no one about the healing. But soon the news spread, for the man could not keep still; and the fame of Jesus increased, so that the crowds, gathering around him, constantly increased.

Wherever he went, the people followed him. Some of them were his friends, others were eager to see the miracles he performed, while still others came for the purpose of finding fault with him. One day while he was teaching in a house at Capernaum they brought to him a man sick with the palsy. Because of the crowd in and about the house where Jesus was, the four men that carried the patient, went up on the house top. There they uncovered the tiles and let the couch with the sick man down into the presence of Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said to the suffering man, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee.”

And behold, certain of the scribes and Pharisees said within themselves, “This man blasphemeth. Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus perceiving their reasonings said to them, “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? for whether it is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy) … Arise, and take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” And immediately the sickness departed from the man’s limbs and strength returned into his body. He arose in the presence of the people, took up his couch and departed through the crowd which now made way for him. He praised God for what had been done for him, as he went out. The surrounding people were amazed: they glorified God and said, “We have seen strange things today.”

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