In Matthew 9:5 Jesus asks the Jews what they think is the easiest, to make a cripple walk or to say to him that his sins are pardoned. He didn’t answer it. But he cured the cripple to show he could say it to the cripple. Nobody can see forgiveness so he needed to give evidence that the man was really pardoned.  The evidence is the man walking again.

Is it really right for a man to be given the power to walk just so that we can believe Jesus can forgive sins?  That is using the man's sickness.
If it is easier to make the cripple walk then the cure doesn’t prove he could forgive sins or declare forgiveness. You don’t say that winning an arm-wrestle proves you could beat the world heavyweight champion in a boxing ring. If Jesus thinks it does prove he could forgive sins or declare them forgiven, then if Catholic priests can forgive sins they should be able to heal cripples as well.

If it is easier to make the cripple walk then forgiveness of sins is not easy.  God is not as generous about it as people want you to think.
If it is harder to make the cripple walk then the cure proves Jesus can forgive sins or declare them forgiven. He certainly does not think that forgiving sins or declaring them forgiven is harder. God can forgive sins as easily as he can raise all the dead to life.  If Jesus was denying that then he wasn’t the Son of God at all but a fraud and because he was a fraud he couldn’t forgive sins and so couldn’t enable priests to do it either. Some would say he was claiming the power was his own as if he were a god or magician who didn’t have almighty power.

Jesus may have meant by saying “Your sins are forgiven” that he was not removing the man’s sins for that was God’s job. But if you cancel the punishment of somebody you have already forgiven that is forgiveness in a sense. Jesus forgave the man by making him walk. He had already told the man before he made him walk that he was forgiven. Jesus was accused of forgiving sins but he had perhaps only announced that the man had been forgiven by God. Then he objected to the Jewish assertion that he could not forgive sins and decided to prove it by removing the punishment there and then instead of letting the man get better the slower and natural way.
Is forgiving sins as easy as making cripples walk? But Jesus denied this was an option.  He challenged the people about the easiest.  Again if this was Jesus’ option, then Jesus thinks it does prove he could forgive sins or declare them forgiven. In that case Catholic priests then can forgive sins so they should be able to heal cripples as well.


In Matthew 9:8, Rome thinks it reads that people thank God for giving men the power to forgive sins. It takes from this that there were more men than just Jesus forgiving sins. But Jesus was a man. If God gave him the power to forgive sins he was still giving the power to men if only one man could do it. The Church believes its priests didn’t get the power to absolve sins until after the resurrection of Jesus and this was long before.
When one opens one’s Bible here one sees that the authority God is praised for giving men is not stated. It may be the power to forgive sins or the power to heal cripples and probably means the latter for the line only appears after the cripple was said to have started walking. You need to tell what something means by the lines NEAREST around it. The authority to heal filled the people with awe. Absolving sins wouldn’t do that for no one can see if it really worked so it must have been the miracle of healing. In Mark’s parallel passage, he says that the praising and the awe were sparked off by seeing a paralytic walk by Jesus’ power. Because Catholics believe that Jesus didn’t establish the sacrament of absolution until after he returned from the dead, as John’s gospel allegedly says, many of them cannot accept this verse as proof for priestly absolution.


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