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Reading through the Gospels 45

Mark 2:1-12 Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26


Mark 2:1-12 Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26 JESUS HEALS PARALYTIC

Jesus returned to Capernaum and it was reported He was at home. In Matthew we read that he returned to his own city by boat. Even Jesus went home from time to time during his ministry (as did the disciples). There were so many gathered that there was standing room only, even at the door. Luke 5:17 tells us that Jesus was teaching Pharisees and teachers of the law from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. Even one person from every village would be a lot of people.  I first imagine a small room because that is how the story was always depicted in Sunday school stories, but now imagine it was probably a large synagogue room.


Four men carried a paralytic, but could not get in the door. They removed the roof tiles and lowered down the bed that carried the paralytic. Jesus saw their faith and said to the paralytic "Son, your sins are forgiven."


I think of how sometimes life is so overwhelming for me that I feel paralyzed and unable to move. When a person is that far down in the dumps, other people can bring them to Jesus through prayer.  On the prayer of others, God will forgive.  Why did Jesus not say, "you are healed, but instead forgave sins? It is more important that my sins be forgiven than it is to be healed.


The scribes voiced their feelings that Jesus was blaspheming being like God in announcing forgiveness. They had not yet recognized Jesus as God.


Jesus then gives an answer as to why he announced forgiveness rather than healing, "Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."  Jesus said loud and clearly to the scribes that He is the Son of Man and flat out declared his authority to forgive.


The scribes and the Pharisees once again question Jesus again blaming him of blasphemy because only God can forgive sins. Yet again we see Jesus perceiving their hearts (minds). This being repeated throughout stories in Mark is digging home the fact that God knows my heart and that matters. Jesus says, "Why do you question in your hearts?" It is a matter of the heart! Jesus says, "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?" Jesus is saying to them, "Hey, you witnessed me perform all these miracles that no one else can do, isn't that enough to show what authority I have that makes me the Son of God, which translates into having authority to forgive sins! You stupid fools!"  At least that's what I am hearing Him say between the lines in my head. 


Matthew 9:4 adds to the story "But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?"  Luke 5:22 says this yet another way, "When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts?" Jesus knows all their thoughts and He knows all of my thoughts. Jesus knew their need to be forgiven without them expressing their sins.


Then Jesus turned to the paralytic and said "I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home." The paralytic was healed and made everyone who saw believe and understand that Jesus was indeed the Son of Man with authority. The people were afraid and they glorified God.  Amazement seized them.  This should be my response to God, to be seized with amazement, to fear God and glorify Him.  Just as in Mark 1:29 when Jesus healed Simon Peter's mother-in-law, Jesus also restored the paralytic man's total strength immediately so much that he could pick up his own bed. Now that is restoration to the original condition.


(Luke) Jesus did not stick around to argue, He picked up what He had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.  This is a great example for me to also just state my peace and walk away, changing my focus of mind to God and all His great glory which matters so much more than any argument. All (did this include scribes and Pharisees?) were amazed and glorified God too!  What a change of heart they had!

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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