When Jesus Forgives

By Tanja

The Miracle of Forgiveness

I was listening to my parents tell a story of a woman they helped in Japan as missionaries. The woman felt burdened down by the guilt of what she had done in the past, and her face showed the sadness she felt in her heart.

My dad said, “Jesus is the One who can forgive.” She asked Jesus to forgive her for what she had done and then a miracle happened; the heaviness that had showed on her face changed to relief. Free from guilt and sadness, the gloom had lifted from her life, and she was able to live a contented life. Everything changed and she began to enjoy her life as a wife and a mother of three children. 

It was my first time hearing this story, and I thought, how beautiful! It illustrates how Jesus is the only One who can forgive our sins. It shows the miracle that happens in our hearts, souls, and spirit. It tells of the transformation that occurs when Jesus forgives us. Jesus takes the sin, which has become a heavy burden and He throws it away “as far as the east is from the west.” (Psa 103:12) We need to have a heart ready for God’s flashlight to shine in and detect what we need to give up and let go of so that we can be free!

A Man Who Was Healed and Shown Forgiveness (Luke 5:17-26)

The Gospels record that Jesus healed a man who couldn’t walk. That’s the story where a group of men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus. There was only one problem they couldn’t get to where Jesus stood in the building. They put the man on a mat and lowered him down through the roof where Jesus could immediately see him. Sure enough, Jesus healed the man. He also told the man, “Your sins are forgiven.” Maybe, the man had cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, could you please forgive my sins?” Or perhaps it was evident that the man’s heart was heavy with sin and all kinds of burdens. 

In the crowd around Jesus, the Pharisees stood and shook their heads. They had witnessed Jesus forgiving a man’s sins, and that puzzled them. It stirred up conflict about the Jesus they saw in action. “No, way!” They thought, “how can this man, Jesus forgive sins?” They crossed their arms and turned to Jesus. Not even telling Jesus what they were thinking. “Only God can forgive sins,” they pondered as they watched Jesus do just that; forgive sins and extend forgiveness.

Jesus turned to the Pharisees, “I know what you’re thinking. Why are you thinking that way?” Jesus reasoned with them about what He had done. (See verse 23) He made something evident to them that day: He, The Son of Man, had the authority to forgive sins.

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (Luke 5:24)

The Pharisees believed that Jesus forgiving sins was blasphemous[1] since they couldn’t comprehend that Jesus was God. Exousia, the Greek word for power means; “The power of doing something, ability, faculty. With meaning of strength, force, efficiency.” [2]  The Blue Letter Bible defines the exousia as having “authority and jurisdiction” [3]  So, Jesus is saying he has the authority and legal right to forgive sins, once Jesus forgives you that means you have been legally forgiven. The verse in the hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” cries:

Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence
To cheer and to guide
Strength for today
And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine
With ten thousand beside

Jesus can pardon and excuse our sins that we are made right before a Holy God. This Easter we can also remember that Jesus died for our sins so that we might be able to stand before a Holy God and worship Him because we are forgiven. (Also see Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:3-12)


Search me Oh, God

To receive forgiveness from Jesus sometimes means that we need to get down on our knees humbly. We might pray like in Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” God can see our hearts and knows whether we need to ask for forgiveness. When Joyce Meyer forgave significant others for what they had done to her, she said: “When I finally did, it set me free and I urge you to forgive anyone that you have anything against.” [4]

The Miracle that Happens

A miracle occurs when we ask Jesus for forgiveness, it might be the first time we have spoken to Jesus about the condition of our hearts, or it might have been something that has built up in our hearts to cause us to be bitter about an incident or action. Forgiveness is essential whether it is just the ‘sinners’ prayer’ or cleaning up our hearts before God. We long for it and want it. Jesus can take the heaviness and the guilt and liberate and free us. He will set you free. Don’t doubt that Jesus can forgive as the Pharisees doubted. Jesus is God; therefore, He is qualified and has the authority to forgive sins. He has the power to set you free!

[1] Darrell L. Bock, Luke: The NIV Application Commentary from Biblical Text–to Contemporary Life, The NIV application commentary series (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Pub. House, 1996), 158.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible: New American Standard Bible, Genuine Black, Wider Margins. (S.l.: Amg Pubs, 2008), 2166.

[3] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g1849/kjv/tr/0-1/

[4] Joyce Meyer, Healing the Soul of a Woman Devotional: 90 Inspirations for Overcoming Your Emotional Wounds (New York: FaithWords, 2019), 10.

2 thoughts on “When Jesus Forgives

  1. I am feeling so blessed this morning, Tanja after reading “When Jesus Forgives”. Maybe one day, a compilation of these will be made a available on hard copy so I can have one and another to give as a gift.

    A perfect reminder for me,
    (“We need to have a heart ready for God’s flashlight to shine in and detect what we need to give up and let go of so that we can be free!”)

    I don’t want a heart of a Pharisee. I want Jesus. I want to have His heart that forgives. I want to have a heart that forgives others so that I too will be forgiven.

    God bless your day, Tanja. You’re an awesome writer

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