The second astounding claim that Jesus makes about himself is that he is able to forgive sins.
For example on one occasion Jesus said to a man who was paralysed, “Son your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5) The reaction of the religious leaders of the day was “How can he say that ? No one has the authority to forgive sins but God!”
Now we can all understand how you can forgive something that someone does against yourself…..Imagine I watched someone steal my car in front of my eyes. He jumped in, and drove off, before crashing into a light standard.
If I really wanted, I could walk up to that car, haul the guy out, and say “I forgive you for stealing my car”. Could haul him out for other reasons, but it is possible, I could choose to do that.
But imagine if, while I’m on my way to the wrecked car, _____ ran past me and did the same thing. They pull the guy out, and say “I forgive you!!!”
I’d be dumbfounded…first a guy steals my car, then someone else thinks its their place to forgive him??? Messed up. Behaving like they’re the one who had their car stolen.
Yet that is exactly what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom the sins had certainly offended or hurt.
He completely behaved as if he was the person who was hurt in the offense. This only makes sense if he was God, God whose laws were being broken and God whose love was being rejected with every sin…
We are confronted with two astounding claims by Jesus of Nazareth—firstly to be God in the flesh and secondly to have the ability to forgive sins.
Question: What would we think of someone today who made the same claims Jesus made?