Absolution of Handicap

title=And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. Hearing God’s Word preached by Paul, the cripple had faith. The apostle pronounced a word of healing (cf. Mk 2.5), and the word took effect.

The passage in Acts seems to have parallels with Mark 2.1–11, though not written by the same author. A paralytic and a cripple are in the presence of Jesus – or, in Acts, of the apostle – as he’s preaching. Jesus, seeing that the paralytic’s friends have faith, pronounces his sins forgiven (and, to back it up, has the man take up his bed and walk); likewise, Paul, seeing that the cripple has faith to be healed, commands him to stand up on his feet. In both cases, of course, faith is required. Yet in both cases, nothing happens until Jesus or his apostle says something.

Loose but interestingly suggestive evidence for the validity of apostolic absolution of sins? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?


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