1 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he then said to the paralytic--"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
So as I read these words I have that stuck in my brain.
Then I think of the people who would have been there. The paralytic, the people who brought him, scribes and I don't know who all else, probably a variety of people from various walks of life.
Jesus tells the man "your sins are forgiven" and the scribes immediately complained about that and Jesus faces them up on it. Asking them which is easier to do .. tell a man his sins are forgiven or to bring physical healing into the person's life? And just so they know he can do both, he heals the paralytic.
But think on it for a moment... it IS easy to tell someone their sins are forgiven. It's really easy to spout that off either as a reassurance or as an encouragement. But Jesus DID have the authority to forgive sins, so it wasn't just a spouting off for him, and he showed that by also healing the man.
This brought fear to the people there who then praised the Lord.
Did they start to have wisdom then about who Jesus truly was? Did they start to realize that he was more than just a man?
Is that why they praised God? Or were they only frightened and praised God because it seemed as though God was merely working through Christ?
I don't know those answers. I don't think people really knew what to do with Jesus for the most part.
Did they grow in their knowledge? Yes. Jesus spent much of his three years of ministry simply teaching the people. Expanding what they knew from the Old Testament and giving them truth.
People glorified God more as he taught and acted.
The fear of the Lord...the beginning of wisdom... hmm...