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Matthew 9:1-8: Jesus Heal a Paralytic

Posted by adventbiblestudy on November 2, 2011


Matthew 9:1-8 MKJV And He entered into a boat, and passed over, and came to His own city. (2) And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Child, be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven you. (3) And lo, some of the scribes said within themselves, This one blasphemes. (4) And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why do you think evil in your hearts? (5) For which is easier? To say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise 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, Arise, take up your bed and go to your house. (7) And he arose and departed to his house. (8) But when the crowds saw, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (Also based on Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26.)

 

 

Jesus made His way through the narrow streets, access being even more limited by the people lining both sides, waiting to touch, or see Jesus. At last Jesus and His disciples, followed by a contingency of scribes, arrived at the home of their host for the day. One after another person filed into the house, the owner, Uriah, attempted to greet and accommodate each person. He had expected to host Jesus, His disciples, and a few choice friends. One after another person shoved their way through the doorway, with as many as possible crowding themselves in.

Jesus, His disciples and a few of the scribes reclined at the dinner table. Jesus began to teach the word of God. He told them about Nathan’s message to David, the story of the poor man with one lamb that was taken by the rich man, who served it to his guest. How David felt remorse for his sins when he realized they were not hidden from God. Jesus went into detail, describing the anguish David suffered, as if He was there. At the end of His story Jesus asked, “was David forgiven?

Before partaking of the meal set before them, Uriah asked Jesus to provide a blessing. Jesus praised His Father as Creator and God of all, thanked Him for the food before them, and asked for a special blessing for all those present.

Dozens more crowded themselves in Uriah’s house. Try as he could, Uriah had no way to serve his unexpected guest, there was not enough food, or room to move. All he could do was take the food placed on the table and politely ask those at the front to pass it to the back.

Unexpectedly pieces of the ceiling began falling on the table. Looking up at the ceiling in surprise, some of the disciples stood up along side the scribes, looking as if an impeding doom was about to come crashing down on them. Expecting the worst some of the guests tried making their way to the door in an attempt to exit the small home. The house was so tightly packed, it was impossible to move more than a few feet. Jesus remained seated on the floor before the table observing the crowd.

Soon it became evident someone was on the roof removing tiles directly over the table. Thinking it was a few spectators attempting to gain a view of Jesus, the tension calmed. Much to their surprise, the men on the roof began lowering a fifth man down with ropes attached to a bed. The disciples began clearing off the table in front of Jesus to make room for the man. As he was lowered, it became evident the man was paralyzed.

The man laid motionless in front of Jesus, his head turned to face his Savior with a big toothless grin on his face. It seemed as if seeing Jesus’ face was all the man was looking for. Jesus looked into the eyes of the man for a moment as if looking into his heart. Looking up at the ceiling Jesus witnessed another four grins as happy and hopeful as the one in front of him. Looking back at the poor paralyzed man, Jesus said, “Child, your sins are forgiven to you.” Jesus closed His eyes as He offered a silent prayer to His Father, asking that He may be glorified. As He prayed He could hear some of the scribes whispering among themselves. “Why does this one speak such blasphemies? Who can forgive sins except God only?” Opening His eyes, Jesus answered, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier? To say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise and walk! But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, Arise, take up your bed and go to your house.

The scribes sat, stroking their beards while studying the paralyzed man. Each pair of eyes trained on a different part of the motionless body. As the moments passed, they grew more hopeful Jesus had finally made a mistake. They could not wait to expose Him. Just as the head scribe was beginning to speak, “ahhhh,” the paralyzed man moved one finger. The room grew silent as every eye in the room focused on the tiny twitch. Only God knows how many prayers were sent up to Heaven in the few short minutes that passed. The twitch of a single finger became a closing and opening hand, then both. The man sat up, all the time smiling, and now added a laugh. The man turned his body around upon the table, placing his feet on the floor he stroked up and down both legs, as if he had to feel them to know they were real. He stood up, turned around, grabbed his bed, and holding it over his head in a show of triumph, then turned back to the door. Amazingly a path had opened for him from the table to the door. As he passed the guests in the house, the opening behind him closed. As soon as the man was outside, people began praising God. “Who had given such authority to men? We never saw it this way. We saw wonderful things today.”

Noticing they had not eaten, and the food was gone, the scribes began complaining about the accommodations and hospitality provided by Uriah. They stood up, and slowly shuffled out of the house one by one. Others took their place in front of Jesus, as He began to teach again.

While Jesus was teaching inside, dozens outside recognized the single man exiting the house. Comments began as questions, “is that the man we saw carried up on the roof? Is that the paralyzed man we saw carried through the streets? Was that Joshua, the beggar near the gate? Wasn’t he paralyzed?” The Spirit did not let the presence of the paralytic go unnoticed while his friends searched for a way into the house. Questions soon became praises.

The toothless man was healed. As he danced through the streets, new legs were not the only thing he was celebrating. Jesus’ words grew inside his heart. He knew his sins were forgiven. As his four friends caught up to him, Joshua exclaimed with joy, “my sins have been forgiven, and I can walk again.” Joshua spent the next few hours telling his friends what it felt like to be forgiven. He spent the next few years learning from Jesus, and the rest of his life telling everyone he met about the joy forgiveness brought to his heart. His physical healing was a gift he did not take for granted, but dedicated his new legs to teaching others about God’s love, Jesus’ power to forgive sins, and the spiritual healing it brings to everyone.

 

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