1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!"

4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

Matt 9:1-8 (NIV)

The power and pity of the Lord Jesus is here demonstrated in His own town and appears in the limelight of our verses for today. Christ yet again proves Himself to be the skillful and faithful Physician of both body and soul. Our Lord has sufficient remedies for all maladies affecting and afflicting mankind. Remember what the prophet Isaiah states regarding our sweet Jesus:

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4 (NIV)

Mark tells us in the gospel bearing his name four men in an active and humble faith brought a paralytic to the Master for healing. Lying on a mat, carried by caring companions, this paralyzed man was both helpless and hopeless. Fortunately for him, his friends carried him to the God of the helpless and hopeless. The crowds had so gathered and had become so great that the paralytic’s buddies ingeniously made a plan of digging through the roof above the Lord and lowering their paralyzed friend - while still on the mat (no small matter) - straight down through the opening before the feet of the Healer. I think it interesting that these friends did not ask Christ to make a visit to them – which would have been far easier - rather they humbly and boldly brought the man to the Master. A strong faith does not regard obstacles in pressing after Jesus. We discover again, the Lord ever honors true faith:

1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:1-5 (NIV)

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” George Mueller

“Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee...Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as He built the heavens and the earth, glorify Himself in thy weakness, and magnify His might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye.” Charles H. Spurgeon

Instead of being in absolute awe over having been eyewitnesses to the miraculous fingermarks of God, some of the teachers of the law mused to themselves in the secret whisperings of their inner thoughts that Jesus was a blasphemer because no one could forgive sins but God alone. The greatest instances of the grace of God are here met with the blackest note of hell’s enmity. Never mind the God miracle they just experienced. Never mind that Jesus crystal clearly read their thoughts - Christ having perfect knowledge of all that we say within ourselves. They did not like it. He just did not fit into their neat little mold of religiosity. He made them uncomfortable so much so that they became reasonless - not even able to put two and two together. I am reminded of King David’s prayer for his son Solomon regarding God’s full knowledge of our thoughts and the motives of our hearts:

9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chron 28:9 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • Jesus came to carry my sorrows and to take up my infirmities.
  • Jesus always honors true faith. 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. Heb 11:1-2 (NIV)
  • The Lord Jesus knows my thoughts and the motives of my heart. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron 16:9 (NIV)