Jesus Heals the Paralytic Man. In Matthew 9, Mark 2, and Luke 5 we have the Bible story of the healing of a paralytic man by Jesus. The interesting thing to note in this particular Bible story is the difference between the reactions of the crowd versus the reaction of the religious Scribes.
3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Mark 2:3-12, NKJV
(See also the parallel passages of Matthew 9:2-8, and Luke 5:18-24.)
In Matthew 9, Mark 2, and Luke 5 we have the Bible story, Jesus Heals the Paralytic Man. Mark gives a little more detail than the other two Gospels, so I have used it for our Bible passage in this devotion. The interesting thing to note in this particular Bible story is the difference between the reactions of the crowd versus the reaction of the Scribes. Jesus makes an amazing revelation, which is still debated in our day. Who is this Jesus and does He really have the power to forgive sins?
First, we see the reaction of the crowds to Jesus’ healing ministry. There were so many people trying to crowd in to see Jesus that the four men who were carrying the paralytic could not get close enough. So, they carried the man to the roof of the house, cut a hole in the roof, and let the man down in his bed to where Jesus was sitting. Did these people have any trouble believing Jesus’ claims as to who He was? No! As a matter of fact, the crowd was so large that they had to use drastic measures to get to Him. Yet, that is just what they did. They had no doubt as to who Jesus was and that He did, indeed, have the power to heal this man.
Was the crowd bothered when Jesus said to the paralytic, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”? No! Was it such a stretch to believe that a man who could heal any disease could also forgive sins? What it such a stretch to realize that the man needed to have his sins forgiven? Not by the crowd, but there were others nearby who did not react so graciously.
“Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” the Scribes responded. They were totally correct in their understanding. Only God can forgive sins. The problem, then, was in believing that this Jesus was truly God. The religious leaders of the day, who had the greater understanding of the Scriptures and the prophecies of the coming Messiah, could not see what should have been so obvious to them.
When we think of the story, Jesus Heals the Paralytic Man, are we so very different in our day? Do we even perceive ourselves as sinners standing before a Holy and Righteous God? If so, do we see Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God and Son of Man as the solution to our problem of sin?
Why is this so hard for people to believe? The difficulty lies in the blindness of our hearts and minds. We all are paralytics! None of us can walk righteously before a perfect and holy God. All of us need to be healed from our paralysis by the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christ can open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and heal our bodies of our fatal infirmities that keep us apart from God.
Apart from the work of God in our hearts and lives, all of us will respond as did the Scribes. Yet how did the crowd respond? Matthew 9:8 tells us, Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
That is the true reaction of a person who has truly been forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ. We can do nothing but marvel and glorify God who had given such power to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we contemplate the story, “Jesus Heals the Paralytic Man” let us, then, fall down before the Lord our God, cry out to Him for salvation, and praise and honor His holy and righteous name. Christ, alone, can save us and keep us from now and through all eternity.