Jesus Heals A Paralytic Man

Introduction

‘Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 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, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.’ Matthew 9:1-8

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This is one of those ‘mighty works’ mentioned by Jesus in his reproach of Capernaum, Matthew 11:23 / Mark 2:1. Important details are mentioned in Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26 which are not contained in Matthew. Mark says that he was carried by four men, and Luke relates the breaking up of the roof to let him down to Jesus.’

As a result of His teaching and miracles, Jesus’ popularity grew rapidly. So many wanted to hear Him that they filled the house in Capernaum where He was teaching and crowded around it. Just then, five men arrived, eager to see Jesus too. One of them was paralysed and the other four carried him on a stretcher.

It was impossible for them to get in through the door, so they climbed up on the roof, dug a hole in it and let the paralytic down through the opening they had created.

We can imagine the commotion among the crowd in the house below. We can only imagine what is going through the minds of those who owned the house.

When Jesus saw the faith, they had demonstrated, He told the lame man that his sins were forgiven. That was probably not what the man had expected, but it is every man’s greatest need.

His disability may have been caused by some sin he was involved in during his life, we can’t be sure, but we do know that sin can have a devastating consequence in our lives.

Notice the lame man, those who brought him in and everyone else didn’t say a thing, it was only the teachers of the law who were present who thought Jesus had blasphemed because God alone can forgive sins.

The scribes and Pharisees, Luke 5:21, thought it blasphemy to assume the position of God by forgiving sins, John 10:31-36 / Leviticus 24:15-16. Although they were right, they didn’t recognise that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh, John 1:1-3 / John 1:14.

Jesus read their minds and asked, ‘Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven, or get up and walk? Matthew 12:25 / Psalm 139:2 / Luke 6:8 / Luke 9:47 / Luke 11:17.

The answer to this question was simple, both were possible with God, but impossible with men. If Jesus has the power to heal someone, then He certainly as the Son of man, has the authority to forgive someone’s sins, John 3:2 / John 20:30-31 / Acts 2:22.

To prove His ability to forgive sins, something invisible and therefore impossible to verify, He healed the paralytic who then got up and walked.

Jesus proved His power to conquer invisible, spiritual problems by overcoming a visible, physical problem. The crowd was dumbfounded, Luke 5:26. They had never seen anything to compare with Jesus, Mark 2:12 / Luke 5:26.

Who Will Reach Jesus?

Consider the five men as they approached the house in which Jesus was teaching. They had come in order to see Him, but their way to Jesus was blocked by a big obstacle, the crowd. Many would have simply turned around and gone back home. Not these men.

They were determined, even desperate, in their desire to see Jesus. Their procedure, un-roofing the roof, was radical but it worked. Even today, those who want to come to Jesus frequently encounter barriers in their path.

The only ones, who actually reach Him, are those who are absolutely determined and who refuse to allow anything to keep them from following Him.

How determined to be with Jesus are you?

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