We’re in the middle of a conversation between Jesus and the scribes. They are doubting who Jesus is. Jesus is stating clearly who He is. Let’s continue:
“For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” – Matthew 9:5
Jesus has confronted some scribes, religious leaders and teachers of the law, who heard Him tell a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2). They accused Jesus, quietly and to each other, of blasphemy for claiming to do something only God could do. Jesus has accused them, aloud and in front of everyone, of thinking evil in their hearts for questioning His identity (Matthew 9:3–4).
Now He asks the scribes if it is easier to say, “your sins are forgiven,” or “rise and walk”? By this, Jesus is making two points. First, it’s “easier” to claim to have forgiven someone’s sins, since there’s no way to physically test such a claim. Claiming the power to instantly heal a paralyzed man, on the other hand, is more “difficult,” as it invites proof. His purpose is to demonstrate to these unbelieving religious leaders that the power He has been showing them is the evidence that He is truly the Messiah and Son of God. That status includes the authority to forgive sins on earth (Matthew 9:6–7).
The benefit that these folks had was that Jesus was right there, in front of them, performing miracles. Healing lepers and blind men, calming the seas. We don’t have that luxury. Our faith is just that….faith. Our belief requires true faith in what is unseen. True faith in all that we read and experience in our lives. Jesus moves…yes. But He moves in a very different way than these men and women were experiencing in the time of Matthew.
Once again. Faith is our foundation.