On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” (Luke 5:17-26, ESV)
Is forgiveness something we have to seek?
There are many answers to this question and all of them are correct. The answer depends on the circumstances of the situation…
So a better question might be, do we have to seek forgiveness from God?
Again there are many answers and all of them are probably correct. But what about our story?
The man is paralyzed and laying on his bed. And 4 of his friends are bringing him to Jesus, because He is healing people… But there are so many people there they can not get in, so they lower him through the roof to Jesus.. Now did this man seek the forgiveness that Jesus gave him? Sure he might have wanted to be healed. I say might because that would completely change his world. He would now have to work for his living rather than depend on others to be generous because of his life situation. He might have wanted healing, but did he seek forgiveness?
I guess what the underlying question is do we have to seek forgiveness in order to understand the generous nature of the forgiveness? Those who do not want forgiveness, even when they are forgiven don’t get it. If you believe you can do something on your own, you do not seek help and are annoyed when the help comes. But when you know the task is more than you can handle and the help is there you are eternally grateful.
So was this man grateful that his friends took him to Jesus, and did he want the forgiveness, that we can not answer, but you can look into your heart and see if you know that you need forgiveness and seek it out from God and those you have wronged, and gratefully accept it, to set yourself free!