Jesus Heals a Crippled Man

For nine years Mrs. Julia B. Adams had been a hopeless invalid. For six years she had lain in bed, as helpless as an infant, but this past Monday she walked proudly into Jefferson Market police court and gave evidence that would help to convict the two men who were the unconsciou … More

Sickness

Jesus returns from the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to the town of Capernaum which he now used as headquarters for His ministry (v. 1). Four men carrying a paralyzed man on a mat, who were unable to penetrate the density of the crowd, lowered him through the roof to where Jesus was. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, He said to the crippled man, “Don’t worry, your sins are forgiven” (v. 2).

Here is a wonderful picture of a man who was saved by the faith of his friends. Had it not been for them he would never have reached the healing presence of Jesus at all. Apparently his illness resulted from sin in his life. Even though this man had great physical need Jesus dealt with the sin problem first, for this is always the greatest need. We must not conclude from this miracle that all sickness is caused by sin, or that forgiveness automatically means physical healing. We cannot make a man a Christian, but we can do everything possible to bring him into Christ’s presence. If our faith does not effect the way we live or even get noticed by others, then perhaps it is not genuine faith at all.

Because He claimed to forgive sins, Jesus was labeled a blasphemer by the religious leaders who were in attendance (v. 3). Knowing their thoughts Jesus asked them whether it is easier to say one’s sins are forgiven, or to tell him to arise and walk. He wanted them to understand that He not only had the power to deal with the symptom, but also the cause of the sickness which was sin in this case (vv. 4-5). When Jesus then said “Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house,” the man did just that, and the crowd was amazed (vv. 6-8). In fact fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen and they praised God for sending a man with such great power and authority.

Application

What have I trusted God for that has brought excitement and joy to my life as He provided?  What one thing do I need to trust Him for at this point and time in my life?

Matthew 9:1-8 (English Standard Version)

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he then said to the paralytic--"Rise, pick up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

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