I was reading in Luke 5:17-26 about when Jesus was in a home teaching. The religious crowd , the Pharisees and others from around the region, were there, probably to criticize , most certainly not to encourage Him.
Apparently the home was filled with people, because something happened that changed some lives that day. The passage tells us the power of the Lord was present for Jesus to perform healing. I gathered there was no one in the house that needed healing, but the next thing the passage tells us is some men had someone they cared about enough to bring him on a stretcher to where Jesus was.
When they got there, it was so crowded they could not get in to present their loved one to Jesus. So they went on top of the house and made an opening so that they might lower their friend before Jesus.
18 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.
Well, the Pharisees didn’t like Jesus saying the man’s sins were forgiven because only God alone can forgive sins (they could not put together that Jesus was both God and man). So Jesus responded to their thinking by saying this,
23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God.
In the Jewish culture, sin and illness went together. If a man was sick, he must have committed some sin. For Jesus to heal this man, he didn’t have to really say anything, but in order to show, the Pharisees and us, the authority Jesus has to forgive sins, He said, “I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it.
I don’t know if the man’s sinful life (we all sin and come short of the glory of God) caused him to be paralyzed or not. I don’t see any indication of that, but I do see Jesus has the authority (right, power, ability, permission) to forgive sin.
It made me wonder if there are times we don’t accept or we hang on to our past sin. For example, this man did what Jesus told him to do by picking up his stretcher. Proof that he believed what Jesus said. If he had not believed, he would have still been lying on it. What if we allow sin to paralyze our spirit to the point we don’t see that we have been forgiven, so that we can move on?
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess (to say the same as God says about) our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” After we have confessed our sins, He forgives us and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. I wonder if we overlook the cleansing part of His work? The taking away of the dirty feeling.
I was not only struck by the man walking away from there, but I was also struck by the faithfulness of his family or friends. They were very supportive of their ailing friend. They overcame obstacles to get this man before Jesus. They believed that Jesus could heal him (“Seeing their faith, He said.”), they wanted him to be healed. They wanted him to live his life again.
Do you believe Jesus can overcome your reluctance? Do you think the enemy wants you to stay immobile? I think with the words, “Get up and walk” Jesus was also saying , “Do you trust me?” Do you? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear people say in your home, in your church, in your town, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Think about it.