The Forgiveness of Jesus (Luke 5:17-26)

The Forgiveness of Jesus (Luke 5:17-26)


Jesus experienced acceptance and rejection. He has performed miracles, called disciples, and brought physical healing to many.

HC Q.2 Q: How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happy?

A: Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

Read Luke 5:17-26

Jesus forgives and heals those who humble themselves and turn to him in faith.

Jesus Forgives On Account of Their Faith (17-20)

We can expect hostility whenever Pharisees are present.

As much about the friends’ faith as the paralytic’s faith.

Calvin Where there is a mutual agreement in faith, it is well known that they promote the salvation of each other.

But what did Jesus see? Not an internal decision, but an act of trust in Jesus. They brought their friend to Jesus knowing he could heal him.

We too must come to Jesus with an awareness of “how great our sins and misery are” (HC). We must acknowledge our desperate need.

Ryle Let us thoroughly understand that pains and diligence are just as essential to the well-being and prosperity of our souls as of our bodies.

The Spirit helps us to see that Christ alone provides the healing we need. Forgiveness is our deepest need.

Jesus goes from seeing to perceiving

Jesus Perceives the Doubts of the Pharisees (21-23)

Now, instead of seeing, Jesus perceives thoughts. The Pharisees were skilled at putting on a show, while inwardly they were prideful, selfish, and vindictive. Mark adds that Jesus did this “by his Spirit” (Mark 2:8). Contrast Pharisees doubt with friends’ faith.

The Pharisees had the right theology. They rightly understood that God alone could forgive sins. Sin is a violation of God’s law (Psalm 51:4), therefore God alone can grant pardon (Psalm 130:4).

What they didn’t understand, because they lacked the Holy Spirit’s insight, was that Jesus was God.

Knowing Scripture and doctrine does not guarantee Spirit-filled understanding. The Pharisees read Scripture in a way that was entirely detached from the work of the Holy Spirit.

We must take care whenever we open God’s Word that we aren’t doing the same thing. Conviction requires the Spirit.

Seeing > Perceiving > Healing

Jesus Heals the Paralytic (24-26)

Jesus heals the man who goes on to glorify. The crowd seems to join in with him. Once again, we see another group of amazed onlookers, and yet few of them remained followers. After the Resurrection, there were only 120 people praying with the disciples.

Sproul The real issue in the Christian life is whether or not we see in Christ the authority of God himself. As the great high priest he has the authority to forgive our sins. If you are paralysed by guilt, take it to Christ—he has the authority to forgive you.

The truth of the identity of Jesus confronts the audience at this point. If the Pharisees are right, then God just healed this paralytic through a false prophet.

But if the Pharisees are wrong, then my physical needs are second to my spiritual needs because…

Jesus forgave first, then healed.


Jesus forgives and heals those who humble themselves and turn to him in faith.

  1. Jesus Forgives On Account of Their Faith (17-20). Are you willing to be the kind of friend who will sacrifice pride and time to bring someone to Christ?
  2. Jesus Perceives the Doubts of the Pharisees (21-23). Does your doubt lead you to repentance or rebellion?
  3. Jesus Heals the Paralytic (24-26). Is your amazement, hope, and joy in the Lord short-lived?

Humbly bring your doubts to Jesus and seek his forgiveness and healing. Plead that you might have more love for Christ.