Jesus once healed a paralyzed man whose friends had let him down through
the roof on his bed to get him past the crowds to Jesus. But instead of
saying to the paralyzed man, “Rise up and walk,” Jesus said, “Son, your sins
are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).
The Pharisees were outraged that Jesus, a mere man, would presume to
forgive sins. So Jesus told them, “So that you may know that the Son of man
has power on earth to forgive sins, I say to the lame man, ‘Rise up and
walk” (verses 10-11, paraphrased).
To believers, this is unnecessary. We already believe that the Son of man
has power to forgive sins. We don’t need a sign of Jesus’ power to
demonstrate the fact that he has authority to forgive sins.
In the Bible, signs were usually given for unbelievers. Paul, for
example, was an unbeliever and an enemy of the gospel, in that he persecuted
believers. When Jesus appeared to him in person on the road to Damascus, he
became a believer. Many others became believers when they witnessed the
signs given by Jesus and the apostles.
Sometimes, though, we wish we did have a sign, because we do fall into
doubt about the things God has told us. We sometimes doubt whether God
really loves us. We often doubt whether God really has forgiven us.
Sometimes we even doubt, though we don’t like to admit it, whether God is
really there at all.
And our doubt makes us worry all the more that if God is there, he
probably doesn’t love and forgive sinners and doubters like us.
But it is not our faith that saves us. It is Jesus who saves us. In our
moments of strong faith, we trust him completely and all fear is gone. In
our moments of doubt, we fear failure and condemnation. But either way, the
Word of God says that we are already seated with Christ at the right hand of
Colossians 3:1 puts it this way: “Since, then, you have been
raised with Christ, [notice the past tense; it’s already been
accomplished by Jesus without our help]. Since, then, you have been
raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is
seated at the right hand of God.”
Whether our faith is strong or weak, Jesus is always the same. He loves
us and will not let us go. He has faith for us even when we are in
doubt, because he is our righteousness and our life. He has
already forgiven us and made us his own. We already sit with him
at the right hand of God.
So rather than wishing for a sign to give us some reassurance, let us
trust in Jesus who is faithful, not in how strong or weak our faith
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.