When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (Mk 2:5)
When Jesus saw (became aware of) their faith (conviction/belief/acting on what one believes to be the truth), he said unto the sick of the palsy (the paralyzed man), Son (child), thy sins (offenses) be forgiven (sent forth from) thee.
Jesus became aware of their conviction of the holy truth in their midst that led them to cut a whole in the roof of the mobbed house where Jesus was teaching and lower the man through the roof so he could get the Master’s proper attention. Thus, Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed, “Child,” he said, “thy lifetime of sins and offending God are now sent forth from thee.”
Word of Jesus got out again. The Master preached to a full house and there wasn’t an inch to spare. (Interesting that the Scripture notes that Jesus preached when he ministered to gatherings; he didn’t follow a liturgy.) On the fringe of the crowd, a group of men decided that they must get a paralyzed friend healed, but they couldn’t get anywhere near Jesus. So they went up onto the roof, removed some ceiling tiles and lowered their paralyzed friend onto the floor next to where Jesus was teaching. The Lord was amazed and publicly declared the act to be one of faith, a testament to a strong belief in Christ’s ability to heal him. But he didn’t heal him immediately. First, he told him his sins were forgiven. This drew the consternation of the scribes in the audience and that yielded one of the Lord’s great lessons about the Realm of the Spirit.
It was more important for the Son of God to forgive sins and grant spiritual life than to give someone a physical healing. And also notice that when he healed, he called upon his other moniker, the Son of Man. In other words, when he did things for God like deliver the Word and grant forgiveness he was acting as the Son of God. When he did things to appeal to man, he did so as the Son of Man. “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…”(v.10)
Does that not tell us a few things about the Lord? Let’s look at them.
1) The Lord might answer our prayers in ways that are just beyond the scope of our reasoning. In this case, the man came to him for healing, but Jesus first declared his sins forgiven before he healed him. Two, in God’s eyes, spirit salvation is more important than flesh-healing. It is more fruitful for us to be clean spiritually than to be made whole physically.
2) The fact that Jesus forgave him on the spot means that Jesus truly was God. That, of course, aroused the silent ire of the scribes, but Jesus proceeded from a vantage point of complete authority – reading their minds and telling them that he had been empowered to forgive sins on earth, which of course meant that he was a divinely sanctioned being.
3) This vignette speaks about overcoming spiritual paralysis through Christ. The only cure for “the palsy of the spirit” is through faith in the Son of God. Our spiritual selves will be able to get up off our mats and walk once our faith has brought to us the altar of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his ensuing forgiveness of our sins. In this story, Jesus gives the paralytic man mobility after calling the scribes out on their lack of faith.
4) God is impressed by our faith; humans are impressed by miracles.