Jesus – Fully God, Fully Man – the Authority to Forgive

One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.”

Luke 5:17 NLT

Reading through the story of the healing of the paralytic in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there are clear indications to both Jesus’ humanity and His divinity.

The idea that Jesus didn’t rely on His own divine power, but rather on the power of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the miracles He performed is supported by this clear statement.

“And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.”

The NIV words it this way. “And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.”

This phrase reminds me of Jesus’ reading of Isaiah’s prophecy, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…”

Matthew and Luke seem to suggest that Jesus used His divine omniscience to know what the Pharisees and teachers of the law were thinking.

“Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts?”

Luke 5:22 NLT

Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts?”

Matthew 9:4 NLT

The NLT gives us a poor translation of Mark’s account here.

“Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts?”

Mark 2:8 NLT

Instead of the NLT’s “knew immediately,” look at how the NIV translates this…

“Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?”

Mark 2:8 NIV

Jesus knew “in His spirit.”

The ESV similarly translates it…

“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit….”

The NASB similarly translates it…

“Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit….”

The fact that Jesus “knew or perceived in His spirit” would seem to indicate that this was a prompting in His spirit by the Holy Spirit.

In the same way the Holy Spirit can prompt and prod us, the Holy Spirit also prompted and prodded Jesus. We’re told that Jesus was “led by the Spirit.”

While the Lord’s healing power being with Jesus and Jesus knowing in His spirit what they were thinking are indications that in His humanity, Jesus depended upon the Holy Spirit, we also see Jesus exercising His divine authority in this encounter.

““What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” “So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!””

Mark 2:7, 10-11 NLT

By offering forgiveness of sins, Jesus was staking His claim to be God. He was exercising His divine authority and responsibility as Messiah.

This story is a great example of the value of studying a harmony. No single account gives us this full perspective. We need to read all of them to see Jesus having “the power of the Lord to heal” and Jesus “knowing in His spirit,” as well as Jesus having “authority to forgive sins.”

NOTE: Today’s blogpost is based upon Sonlife’s study, Knowing Him / A 50 Day Study in the Life of Christ / Day  24