(Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26).
When Jesus went to the town of Capernaum, news of His arrival quickly spread. Hundreds flocked to the house where He was staying until there was no room left inside. The latecomers pushed close until even the door of the house was completely blocked. The faith of this crowd was strong and the power of the Lord was present to heal.
After Jesus began teaching, four men arrived carrying a friend who was completely paralyzed. They tried to push their way through the crowd, but the people were bunched together too closely for them to get through. Suddenly, one of the men had an idea, “Let’s take him up onto the roof.”
They carried the man to the roof and began tearing a hole in the tiles. We do not know whose house this was, but since Peter lived in the town of Capernaum, it could have been his house. I wonder what the owner thought when he felt pieces of the roof falling on his head. After the hole was big enough, the men lowered their friend through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” That day there were many Pharisees and teachers of the law who were listening to Jesus. When they heard Jesus forgive the man’s sins they began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Of course Jesus was God, and He knew what they were thinking. He asked them, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He turned to the paralyzed man, “…I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Immediately the paralyzed man stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home triumphantly carrying his mat and praising God.
The crowd was amazed and gave praise to God. Everyone was filled with awe and whispered to each other, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Healing Power Points
- Jesus healed this man because of the faith of his friends. Gordon Lindsay writes, “Jesus showed that it is possible for others to supply the needed faith when the sick person is unable to supply it for himself.” If you have a friend who is sick, your faith can help bring healing!
- Uncommon faith produces uncommon results. When the men found it impossible to push through the crowd, they discovered an unorthodox solution to their problem. They were persistent until their friend was healed. After they showed such great faith, how could Jesus not heal the paralyzed man.
- Forgiving sins and healing are tied together. The Pharisees doubted Jesus’ ability to forgive sins because only God can forgive sins. But only God could have healed the man. If Jesus can do something only God can do by healing the man, does this not prove that He can also forgive sins, another action only God can do? This double miracle demonstrates that both healing and forgiveness of sins are included in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
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