Jesus Heals a Paralytic – Persistent Faith
“And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.’”
Dear Family & Friends,
Every true disciple can think of at least one or two people they would like to introduce to Jesus. This is just part of being His follower. We realize the blessing of being in the family of God and we want those we love to experience this relationship too. But often there is a huge barrier blocking our way. How, then, do we make this introduction? A couple of men found a way despite great odds. Jesus heals a paralytic in response to their faith and persistence. These traits overcame barriers and allowed the men to have a part in the healing of their mutual friend.
The word was out all over the region of Galilee. Jesus, the great Teacher, healed the diseased, freed the demon-possessed, and even controlled the weather. Crowds of people flocked to see for themselves and receive help for their own problems. Anywhere Jesus went they followed, hoping to catch a glimpse or witness a great miracle.
Desperate Friends Make a Plan
A few men, after hearing of these incredible feats, put their heads together. One of their fellow friends lay paralyzed with no hope for recovery. Day after day the sympathetic men listened to the paralytic’s groans. His grief was not only over his devastating situation, but even more so over his sins. These paralyzed his heart and soul.
They wondered how they could help their friend, and believed that Jesus was the answer. But how could they get him to Jesus? The crowds clogged the streets. It would be difficult for a slim, strong young man to get through by himself, so how could they transport a man with no power of his own?
They heard through the grapevine that Jesus was back in His hometown of Capernaum, so they drew up a plan. Four of the strongest of them would carry the paralytic on his bed and hope they could beat the crowds by catching Jesus at home. But as they approached His dwelling they saw that others had the same thought. There were so many people crowding the doorway that they couldn’t make any headway. So they went to Plan B.
The determined men circled the house away from the crowds and hoisted the paralytic and the bed onto the roof. There they dismantled the branches and mud plaster above where Jesus was standing. Imagine the surprise of those below when dirt and straw started raining down from above!
Jesus Has the Power to Forgive Sins
When the opening was large enough the four men gently lowered their friend, bed and all, through the hole to place him in front of Jesus. Rather than being annoyed about the unexpected roof problem, Jesus recognized the faith that caused the desperate friends to do the unusual in order to get to Him, and He responded with love and compassion.
But instead of immediately healing the man’s broken body, Jesus first healed the man’s soul. “Son, your sins are forgiven,” He said.
The friends held their breath as they listened from above. The crowd in the house strained to see and hear what was going on. But some of the scribes, the religious leaders of the day, looked on with disdain. “Who does this guy think he is? Only God can forgive sins!” they grumbled silently.
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
Jesus, hearing their unspoken thoughts, confronted them out loud. “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk’”? “But so you know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . I say to this paralyzed man, ‘Pick up your bed and go home.’” Immediately the used-to-be paralyzed man jumped up, shouldered his pallet, and departed, glorifying God.
What a reunion these friends must have had when they all arrived home! Faith and persistence found a way to Jesus and changed the life and soul of the now healed man.
Faith and Persistence Open the Doors of Heaven
What obstacles are you facing in bringing your loved ones to Jesus? Don’t ever give up! Jesus has the authority to heal and to forgive, so continue to speak the truth, and earnestly seek Him in prayer every day. It may just be your faith and persistence that opens the roof of heaven and makes all the difference.