Tough and Tender

Tony Vis

READ : Luke 5:17-26

With the words “Friend, your sins are forgiven,” Jesus was asking for trouble. He spoke those words surrounded by the Pharisees and the scribes. They believed that God alone had the right to forgive sins. So, when Jesus spoke those words He was making a clear claim: He was claiming to be God become human. It was a claim Jesus knew would get Him into trouble. It was a claim He knew would not please the orthodox religious establishment. It was a claim Jesus knew could make them His enemies and could get Him killed. But it was the claim about Himself that Jesus had come to make. And make it He did. Without hesitation! Without concern about the consequences. Tough and confrontational!

Yet tender. As Jesus looked on the paralytic, the Son of God saw beyond the fellow’s symptoms. Jesus looked at the man’s heart. He sawsin and the man’s need for God’s mercy. The man probably expected Jesus to condemn him. That’s what the Pharisees would have done! Instead, Jesus pronounced the man forgiven. And the Master healed him.

So it is when we come before God with our sin. He is not the stern, condemning figure we thought Him to be. God is the loving, forgiving God who revealed Himself in the person of Jesus.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, forgive me, heal my brokenness, and fill my life with Your loving presence. Amen.