Jesus heals a paralytic let down through the roof

The Miracles of Jesus

 February 27, 2021

Jesus heals a paralytic let down through the roof

Luke 5:17-26

One of the many favorite songs of Sunday school children is, “I don’t wanna be a sheep” One of the verses goes like this:

Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
‘Cause they’re not fair you see
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee

It’s a fun kid’s song, yet it also hits the nail of the head. The Pharisees were not fair men. There was only one way, their way. A loose interpretation of the word Pharisee is “separated ones.”

“The Pharisees were non-priestly interpreters of the law and advocated a rigorous practice of all the commandments, both those written and those handed down (as they believed) by oral tradition from the fathers of Israel. They separated themselves from the society of people whose observance of the law they considered too lax.” (People’s Bible Commentary, Luke; Victor H. Prange. Pp. 58.)

Let’s take a few moments to look at the Gospel of Luke 5:17:26:

“One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So, they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So, I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

Here is another story of Jesus that is just as much about faith as it is about healing. We find Jesus teaching in a house in Capernaum. We also know there are Pharisees and teachers of the law (also called scribes or lawyers in some texts), and they are there to check this “Jesus guy” out.

People have begun following Jesus wherever He goes. In this particular case, the house is jammed full of people. And, there are so many people outside you can’t get near the door.

So, four men, whose friend is a paralytic, use their own ingenuity to get to Jesus. They climbed onto the roof of the house, taking tiles out of the ceiling. They then lowered their sick friend down into the room in front of Jesus.

Think about these actions from the perspective of faith. The paralytic had been this way for a long time, and he had a lot of time to think about his illness. He believed that Jesus had the power to heal him. The man’s friends, too, had faith. They didn’t give up because the door of the house was blocked. They climbed the roof of the home while carrying their friend! That takes strong faith.

Jesus saw the faith they all had and said, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

Hold on! This paralyzed man wanted to be healed of his illness, and Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven? Let’s look at this in two ways. First, in Jesus’, many Jews believed that your illnesses were a manifestation of your sins. So many people may have looked at this man as a sinner because of his ailment. Second, Jesus did heal the man of his sins.

Now comes the part when we find something new about Jesus, He can read minds and what is upon your heart. (Jesus is Omniscient, all-knowing) Jesus knew what the Pharisees and teachers of the law were thinking. In their minds, Jesus was not God, so He could not forgive sins. They saw Jesus as a blasphemer. But Jesus knew what they were thinking. Jesus says, alright, guys, let’s try it this way since you don’t believe I can forgive sins.

So, Jesus told the paralytic to get up, take his mat, and go home. And that’s precisely what he did.

Can you imagine the room at that moment? There was somewhere between dead silence with some saying, “Oh my.” I suppose there were a lot of jaws dropping to the floor. Although the Pharisees and teachers of the law were still unconvinced by what had occurred, the others who we in the room said it was “remarkable.”

Have faith; it was remarkable because He is remarkable. He is the Christ, the Son of God.

Lord Jesus. Your priorities are many times different than ours. When we ask for healing, you offer forgiveness. Sometimes you heal our physical ailments. Other times you don’t, reminding everyone that Your Grace is sufficient for us.

Amen

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