“When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.””
Forgiveness does not always make the list of spiritual disciplines. And yet, forgiveness is a process in which we should all participate.
So how does forgiveness start?
The paralyzed man and his friends knew they needed something that only Jesus could give. But they thought that need was only healing. So they worked hard to give Jesus the opportunity to heal.
Meanwhile, as the roof tiles came off and the man dropped into the room, Jesus saw a deeper human need. The need for forgiveness.
On that day when Jesus forgave the paralytic, He was not singling him out as a greater sinner than anyone else. Rather, He was declaring to everyone that all human need is rooted in our need for God to forgive our sin.
Forgiveness starts when we recognize how much we need to be forgiven, and how much we need to forgive others.
Dear God, I know I feel I have a right to take revenge. Help me to see that real power lies not in vengeance but in forgiveness.