“Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Outrageous! Four friends break through the roof and let their paralyzed friend down through the roof to Jesus’ fee. Jesus had just announced forgiveness for a man let down through the roof by four friends. They wanted healing for their friend.
The first healing Jesus offered was forgiveness for sins. That’s the first miracle.
“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
The religious in the crowd were outraged. The social posture toward suffering would have lead them to wonder what the young man must of done to merit such punishment. But Jesus interrupts this thought. “Son your sins are forgiven.”
Forgiveness is outrageous. It always costs. The cost must be borne by the one giving the forgiveness. The damage must be metabolized by the one who says, “you owe me nothing.” Jesus did not simply speak for God. He was speaking authoritatively as God. Jesus perceives their indignation and says,
Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” (Mark 2:8-11)
The second miracle is what the friends came for. But the first is the deep need of human hearts. Jesus has the authority to meet our heart’s deep need for restoration with God through forgiveness of sins.