The Gospel of Matthew: Jesus Heals a Paralytic. Part 3.

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:1–2 (ESV)

“The actions of the paralytic and his friends show they had real faith. They knew their goal and would not let an obstruction stop them. One of them concocted a plan, a high-risk plan. He thought, ‘If we can’t get through the crowd, let’s go over it. Let’s climb up on the roof, tear a hole in it, tie cords to the corners of our stretcher, and lower our friend to Jesus. At least, he will have Jesus’ attention’,” explains commentator Daniel M. Doriani.

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:1–5 (ESV)

17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”  (Luke 5:17–20 (ESV)

It was when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ““Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven (Matthew 9:2).” Jesus commanded the man to be assured. This assurance would be in his mind, emotions and his will. Jesus then forgave the man’s sins.

It is worth noting that the men, including the paralytic, came for healing and not necessarily for forgiveness. Perhaps the man’s paralysis was a result of sin. If so, Jesus was teaching that true healing, of soul and body, can only occur through repentance of sin’s and faith in Jesus to forgive. Jesus was also revealing that He was God because as we will soon see, only God can forgive sins.

“Though we would like to know how such a statement struck the paralytic or his helpers, the reaction of the paralyzed man or his helpers to this statement is of as little interest to Matthew’s narrative, as was the experience of the demoniacs. No doubt the possible connection between sin and illness stands in the background, but well in the background. Once again, the focus is on the authority of Jesus, now exercised in yet another realm. On Jesus’ authority to forgive, see further at 9:3, 5, 6, 8,” explains commentator John Nolland.

What is the reaction to Jesus’ words by the crowd? This is what we will examine next time. Have a blessed day in the Lord.  

Soli deo Gloria!

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