21 (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit.
23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
14 Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord,
15 and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
Awesome Lawson: The objection of many Protestants to sacramental confession--"Why should I do a thing like that?"--resembles the question of the Naaman, the Syrian leper, when told to bathe seven times in the Jordan. We can imagine some other method for God to use rather than confessing our sins to priests, just as Naaman was able to imagine a different method for the prophet to heal him, but we ought to obey God when He acts differently from the way we think He should.
- The Byzantine Liturgy recognizes several formulas of absolution, in the form of invocation, which admirably express the mystery of forgiveness: "May the same God, who through the Prophet Nathan forgave David when he confessed his sins, who forgave Peter when he wept bitterly, the prostitute when she washed his feet with her tears, the publican, and the prodigal son, through me, a sinner, forgive you both in this life and in the next and enable you to appear before his awe-inspiring tribunal without condemnation, he who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen."