“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.”
Jesus’ ministry on earth always began with the Word. He is the Word, and He preaches the Word of God. Remember Mark 1:38 where He tells His followers this is why He came. Like Jesus, we need to keep our purpose the number one thing we do. Jesus preached, first always. He did other things too, but always foremost in Jesus life here was preaching the Word.
(continuing v 3-4) “Then they came to him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 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.”
What can we do with the things that paralyze us? Take them to Jesus. And these friends did not stop until they brought it right to Jesus’ feet – even when it took work, it took breaking through the roof. Do not give up praying until Jesus answers you. In fact, He even tells us this! Ephesians 6:18 says “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”. Jesus also told a parable about continuing in prayer, even when we are asking for the same thing in Luke 18:1-8. The first verse says “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lost heart…” Whatever your burden may be – whether loved ones who don’t know Jesus, or your own suffering, continue to lay it down at Jesus’ feet. Keep knocking, until He answers. And He will answer.
(continuing v 5-11) “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 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? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise, take up your bed, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’ – He said to the paralytic – ‘I say to you, take up your bed, and go to your house.'”
Jesus is God. period.
This is one of many passages that strongly states the Divine Godhead, that Jesus is God in human flesh. there is no getting around this foundational belief. If you want to reach the Father, if you want to be saved and know God, the only way to Him is through Jesus and believing what Jesus said: and Jesus Himself says, I am God. The scribes said, ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ They didn’t ask this question out loud. And by their thoughts, revealed to us here, we have two proofs that Jesus is God and forgives our sins. First, Jesus knows their thoughts. There is only one who can see into the hearts and minds of people, and that is God. So we have the first proof that Jesus is God. The scribes were right that only God can forgive. But they were wrong in knowing who God is. And to show them, Jesus says – ‘but that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’ – Jesus gave them, and us, the physical proof that He is God as He claimed and has omnipotent power because He is God. The inward forgiveness that only God can bestow were further proved by this outward change. Now, yes, this was a miraculous healing of a physically paralyzed man. And sometimes our healing is inward and kind of invisible. Earlier, I drew parallels to the abstract paralytics we carry sometimes: fear, or a sin that keeps us locked in slavery to some thought, or action. Or we carry the burden of unforgiven loved ones, who remain paralyzed by spiritual death. Even though these kinds of healings do not happen before our physical eyes as it did here where we read in the next verse:
(v12) “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!”
We can use this real-life, physical account to ask some important questions of ourselves: Have you brought your paralyzing burden to Jesus? Has He forgiven You and set you free? Or have you seen His hand move yet to heal, either physically or spiritually, yourself or someone you are praying for? If not, keep praying. Keep seeking His answer. Has Jesus forgiven you and set you free from the burden you’ve laid before Him? And, believer, if you say yes to that, then there is one more very important question to think about:
Does it show? Because when Jesus forgives, when He heals, the result should be that it shows in your life, and people will see it and glorify God. If the forgiveness, healing, and change that Jesus has done in your life does not have outward evidence, we need to get on our knees and seek God’s face:
1 Peter 1:15-2:3 says “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Take the examples in this verse of what your life should look like on the outside – loving others, leaving behind the hate, lies, and hypocrisy – and really look at yourself to evaluate if there is change. If Jesus has forgiven you and healed you, then you will be different, inside and out. James says in 1:22-25:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For is anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of a man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Don’t remain paralyzed by sin. Walk in forgiveness. Walk in the truth. Do what God says and give Him the glory.