Luke 5:20-23 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? (NIV)
Jesus does not play games. When the paralysed man was lowered through the roof by his friends, they were serious about getting the sick man to Jesus. They would not have taken all the trouble to remove a large piece of roofing, or risked the anger of the house owner, if they had not believed that Jesus would heal. Faith, as always, is not just a pious thought but a total confidence in God - not letting anything get in the way of coming to Jesus.
But the religious leaders were not pleased, especially when Jesus saw faith in action and pronounced forgiveness of sins. They did not even need to speak - Jesus knew their critical thoughts. Although they rightly believed that only God can forgive sins, they did not believe that Jesus was God in a human body. So He was about to demonstrate that He had God's power in making the man walk home, carrying his bed.
Every workplace and community is full of critical thinking. In one way it is right to question in order to find out the truth. However, there is a basic evil spirit of criticism waiting to arise in each of us which wants to disbelieve (and disobey) any authority; especially the authority of Jesus. We don't even have to say a word because the Lord knows if we really trust Him or not. He sees those who deliberately or negligently let things get in the way of trusting Him. He easily distinguishes those who want to score cheap religious points from those who are earnest in seeking Him. As 2 Timothy 2:19 says, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." Our faith must shape our lifestyle, or it is not faith at all. That is a primary contrast to the critical spirit of the age which roams through every workplace and community; those who trust Jesus submit to His authority.
Prayer: Powerful Lord. Thank You that You know everything, even the hidden things and words that have never been spoken. Please forgive me when I have joined the world's chorus against the authorities You have placed over me, or protested against Your divine wisdom in my life. Help me to learn how to follow Jesus, by submitting to His Word and making every effort to remove the obstacles that stop me from bringing my weakness to You for healing and forgiveness. And may my witness of trusting Jesus in the workplace encourage all those around me who are seeking after truth. In Jesus' Name. Amen.