Who Does He Think He Is?

"Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'
The other guests began to say among themselves,
'Who is this who even forgives sins?'"
Luke 7:48-49 (NIV)

I recall a dear friend who was a few years older than myself and hence was able to enlist in WWII. He served his country well, with distinction really. However, there was something about him that caused certain rude people to talk behind his back.

My friend not only fought on the front lines in Europe, he was also a precision marcher with a platoon of soldiers. This was the problem. Whenever my friend would walk down the street he would swing his arms and march—not walk—wherever he went.

Those of us who knew and loved him, realized he was not conscious of his appearance to others. When other people saw him they would automatically think the man was swaggering as he walked. This way of walking made him appear arrogant or give off the sense of self importance.

It was really nothing of the sort. My friend respected all people and did not speak of his accomplishments during the war or seek to portray himself as some kind of war hero. He had just trained so long to march in a precise manner that it stayed with him after the war.

When we look at Jesus in Luke 7 we see Someone who is giving off signals about His identity with ease and without arrogance or false pride in Himself. All the time Jesus was with us, He took pains to give attention to people who were unnoticed by others.

Jesus had a way of connecting with those people everyone else had given up on. He seemed to love finding and helping the poorest, most insignificant members of society. He was almost always in the company of those others despised and avoided.

In Luke 7:36-50 we have the beautiful story of a sinful woman who actually sought out Jesus to do an act of kindness to Him. In the detail of this story Jesus spoke graciously to the woman and told her that her sins were forgiven.

That word of forgiveness was startling to the other guests at the meal. So the question was whispered among them, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?" Being good Jews, they knew for a fact that only God could forgive sins. But this Man was giving words of forgiveness to a notorious sinner.

You will note that Jesus did not cry out that He was God. He did not give a lecture on His identity. He simply acted like God and did what only God could do—He forgave her.

Do you see the parallel here between my friend and Jesus? My friend did not wear his soldier's uniform or his medals won in action after the war. He simply marched like a soldier because he was one during WW II.

Jesus was, and is, God. He simply does God things all the time. With His infinite power He still equips His people to serve in this sin darkened world. He still forgives sins and restores people to fellowship with the Father. He still whispers words of comfort to the sorrowful.

Come to Jesus in prayer today, confess your sins, your sorrow and pain in life, tell Him all about how tired you are of living and He will give you rest.

I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad.
I found in Him a resting place and He has made me glad.

- Horatio Bonar

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