And some people were carrying to him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, child; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Stand up, take your bed, and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
It feels weird at Christmas to fast forward into Jesus’ adult ministry. In this passage, he is already at work healing people and irritating the scribes. I wonder how many times in life are we stuck like this man? Stuck in our anxiety, stuck in our addictions, stuck in our mistakes, stuck in our fear; just stuck on our mat and unable to move forward. Friends, take heart. Jesus Christ, Immanuel, is with us no matter what and calls us to stand up and walk, to recognize that our sins our forgiven, and to rejoice. May we take heart, say “thank you”, and rejoice that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven and restored to move forward in faith.
Holy God, we give You thanks for Your grace and mercy. We celebrate the ways that You enable us to get unstuck and to move forward. Empower us to recognize the ways that we are stuck and to seek Your help. Give us the strength to glorify You in our gratitude and share Your grace with others. Amen.