Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

Old Joe was dying. For years he had been at odds with Bill, formerly one of his best friends. Wanting to straighten things out, he sent word for Bill to come and see him. When Bill arrived, Joe told him that he was afraid to go into eternity with such a bad feeling between th … More

Forgiveness

Some days afterward Jesus again comes to Capernaum, possibly at Peter’s house and the crowd gathered to hear Him preach and to see Him heal. So many came that the crowd filled the house and began to crowd around the house. In fact some of these were official religious leaders who had come from as far away as Jerusalem, some eighty miles in distance (v. 17). These scribes and Pharisees had picked a good time to attend one of our Lord’s meetings, because God’s power was present in a  special way and Jesus was about to heal a man (v. 17). Some friends of a palsied man brought him to Jesus but found it impossible to get through the crowd (v. 18). So they found the outside staircase to the flat roof top, removed some of the tiles, and lowered the man right into the presence of Jesus (v. 19).

Jesus could have simply healed the man and sent him home, but instead, He used this opportunity to teach a lesson on sin and forgiveness. First of all He dealt with the man’s sins by saying “thy sins are forgiven thee” (v. 20). The Scribes and Pharisees could not deny the miracles of healing but they immediately began to question His claim to forgive sins. They said it was blasphemy, for only God could forgive sins (v. 21). Jesus understood their thoughts and began to question them about their motives (v. 22). He asked them if it was easier to say “thy sins are forgiven thee or to rise up and walk” (v. 23). Then He proceeded to tell them that the “Son of Man” has authority to forgive sin (24). They were correct in the fact that God alone can forgive sin but they were wrong in calling Him a blasphemer, because He truly is God. Immediately the man picked up his bed and went home to the amazement of those watching (vv, 25-26).

Application

Who am I the most like in this story: the paralyzed man who could not help himself, his friends who had compassion, the crowd who were just interested in themselves or the religious leaders who questioned everything?

Luke 5:17-26 (English Standard Version)

On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the man who was paralyzed--"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home." And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen extraordinary things today."

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