Luke, in his Gospel, introduces the account of the healing of a paralyzed man with the words “And it came to pass on a certain day.”
It was a day all the people present to hear the teaching of Jesus would never forget. In fact, God has put this account regarding this unnamed man in his word for all of us to marvel at and never forget.
The setting is that there were present, on that certain day, a number of religious leaders of the Jews.
These leaders were always looking to find fault with Jesus and his teachings. They were envious of the crowds that followed Jesus and the miracles he did on sick folk and his way of speaking with authority.
This portion from Luke 5:17-26 says that these leaders came from every town of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem.
There were also multitudes of people from all over to hear Jesus teach and receive healing of their sicknesses — so much so that people were outside the house waiting for an opportunity to be helped.
The Bible says, the power of the Lord was present to heal those in need.
Then into the scene came four men carrying a bed with a paralyzed man on it. They were determined to get their friend in to see Jesus.
It would be appropriate to consider Isaiah 55:6-7 at this point. Verses six and seven read, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
The opportunity to get their friend to see the Lord was now.
But the crowds were a problem as the house was full and it was standing room only outside, so they pursued the only option that was available.
The house had a stairway outside to the roof, so they carried the man on his bed up the stairs to the roof. They figured where Jesus was and proceeded to remove the tiling from the roof and lowered the man through the roof — right down in front of Jesus.
The passage reads, “When he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee”.
The religious leaders said, “Who is this which speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
Jesus, knowing their thoughts, answered them, saying, “What reason you in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man has power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto you, Arise, and take up your bed, and go into your house”.
Immediately, the paralyzed man rose up on his own before them all, picked up his bed and went to his own house, glorifying God.
We read that all the people were amazed and glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today”.
The one pressing priority was to somehow get the man to see Jesus.
With a little ingenuity and thinking outside the box — or maybe outside the house — they managed to succeed in bringing their friend to where he could receive help.
So many are content to put their need off and say that some other time will do to seek the Lord. They assume there will be other opportunities that come along later.
Jesus told the man first that his sins were forgiven because this was the most important need he had.
Jesus knew the scribes and Pharisees would be upset when he told the man this. He also knew their pride kept them from seeing their own needs, but the man who was paralyzed felt his need and welcomed the words of Jesus.
So the paralyzed man received a double blessing and the religious leaders went away empty.
It wasn’t too long until Jesus suffered on the cross under the punishment of our sins and gave his life for the sins of the entire world. The formerly paralyzed man is now in heaven now and is still glorifying God for his mercy.
Will you be there?
John Eggers is an elder in the assembly that meets in Westsyde Gospel Hall in Kamloops. KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should be between 600 and 800 words in length and can be emailed to editor@kamloops thisweek.com. Please include a very short bio and a photo.