Many stories in the Bible cling to our minds because we learned them as children. One of the more popular ones is the story of when Jesus healed the paralyzed man.
We remember this story because of the way his friends brought him to Jesus. But now as adults, we find this story is much deeper than Jesus just healing a paralyzed man.
So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins. Mark 2:10
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus established His home base in Capernaum. In our chapter for today, Mark tells us that He returned to that village.
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Mark 2:1
Because the popularity of Jesus had spread throughout the region the people there were eager to see Him. Therefore it didn’t take long for a crowd to gather around Him.
Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. Mark 2:2
Some men took their paralytic friend to see Jesus. They hoped to see their friend walk but knew that in the natural it was impossible. Upon their arrival, they ran into a major huddle.
Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd . . . Mark 2:3-4
Jesus was the talk of the town so nobody wanted to give up their spot in the house. They wanted to stay as close to Him as they possibly could to hear every word He spoke.
Discouragement Could have Set In
At this point, some people may have lost hope and just taken their friend back home. And maybe a little discouragement did set in with these men, but they refused to give up.
. . . so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Mark 2:4
They must have carefully removed pieces of the roof so very little debris fell on anyone. Finally, with a hole large enough, they lowered their friend down to Jesus. It brings back a childhood memory.
I vividly remember a picture in a coloring book. It captured the entire story with the paralyzed man lying in front of Jesus. And his friends looking down through the hole in the roof.
These four men decided that no matter what it took, they would get their friend to Jesus. The first thing that Jesus did though was to address this man’s biggest need instead of his obvious need.
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
He could have easily said to the paralyzed man, you’re healed, get up and walk, end of the story. But He didn’t. What He did say stirred up the thoughts of some in the crowd.
But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Mark 2:6-7
Jesus Addressed the Critics
The next verse says that Jesus immediately knew what was in their hearts. And so He addressed the critical spirit within them.
Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? Mark 2:8-9
Jesus answered not only the critics in the house but the skeptics as well. He put an exclamation point at the end of the story of the paralyzed man.
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!” Mark 2:10-11
Then the paralyzed man who was no longer bedfast started a new chapter in the story of his life. There was no question about His healing. Because when he jumped up it amazed everyone.
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” Mark 2:12
How the Story of the Paralyzed Man Relates to Us
As I think through this story about this paralyzed man four things come to mind. The men, the roof, the crowd, and the man. First the men. Without them, there would be no story.
When the man was lowered down to Jesus, verse 5 says “seeing their faith.” We can only assume that the paralyzed man had faith. But we know his friends did because they exercised it.
They demonstrated a beautiful illustration for us of “faith without works is dead.” This brings us to the part about how the roof fits into this story. First of all, getting to Jesus is always easy.
The enemy of our soul, however, will try to convince us otherwise. He will as sure as anything, put obstacles in our way. Too many times we view those obstacles as immovable. But their not.
Now let’s talk about the crowd. They may sometimes stand in our way but we can’t consider them as obstacles. Just like you, God created them and He loves them.
As in the story of the paralyzed man the crowd today still becomes intrigued with the miraculous. And also just like in this story every crowd contains critics and skeptics as well.
Last but not least we must talk about the man. His life was changed in more ways than one. His friends took him to Jesus to receive a healing. And praise God, he received it.
I have to say though, we don’t necessarily understand healing. We can pray for someone and they get healed. Others we pray for and they don’t get healed. Why? We really don’t know.
The Main Point Behind this Story of the Paralyzed Man
Some people blame it on a lack of faith. But I know unhealed people with great faith. When it comes to praying for the sick, we must follow what the Word says and trust God for the answer.
But there is more to the story of this paralyzed man. The first thing that Jesus said to this man was “My child, your sins are forgiven.” What did Jesus teach us when He said that?
Our souls are much more important than our physical healing. The forgiveness of our sins is our greatest need. We can enter eternity with a physical ailment in our bodies and still go to heaven.
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Philippians 3:21
We must ask the Lord to forgive us our sins before we enter eternity. Because if we don’t we will perish for all eternity. That is why Jesus forgave his sins first.
If you have a physical need or know someone who does, continue to pray for healing. Put your complete faith in God and trust Him for the outcome.
Kings David went through many hardships in his life. Yet wrote these words to encourage all of us to completely trust in the Lord.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24
Lord, thank you for directing our steps. Encourage us in our times of doubt so we don’t stay there.
Check out some of the other “stories” I have written about.
- The Shepherds’ Story Was Remarkably Astonishing
- The Story Of Lazarus Resulted In An Unusual Plot
- The Story Of Gideon And The Angel
- The Story Of Daniel In The Lion’s Den
- The King David And Absalom Story
- Story Of The Burning Bush In The Bible
- The Story Of Stephen In The Bible
- When Jesus Healed Ten Lepers
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