In Luke 2:1-12 we read that Jesus had returned to Galilee and news got around that Jesus had returned home. The house that he was staying was so packed with visitors. There was a huge rush, with no room inside or outside the door.
As Jesus was speaking, four men carried a friend of theirs who was paralysed to the house. They couldn’t bring him in because of the crowd. But having come so far with their disabled friend, they were determined to get him to Jesus. They got to the roof of the house, dug a hole through it (I am not sure that the house owner would have been amused) and lowered the cripple, who was placed on a mat, right at the feet of Jesus.
Jesus was so touched by the faith of the men who brought the paralysed man. He turned to the paralytic and said, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven you.’ This statement so offended the teachers of religious law, who said in their hearts, ‘What on earth is He saying? This is blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins!’ Jesus of course knew what they were thinking; so he asked them, ‘What is this you question in your heart? Is it easier to say to a paralysed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’, or ‘stand up and walk’?’ Jesus said this to demonstrate that He was truly God and only God had the power to forgive sin. As such Jesus could say ‘your sins are forgiven’.
Having dealt with the objections of the religious leaders, Jesus turned to the man and said, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat and go home.’ Immediately the man did just that, picking up his mat and walking out through the door. Those around were absolutely stunned; their reaction was one of utter amazement, causing them to say, ‘We have never seen anything like this before!’
The key point for us is not the fact that Jesus spoke to the man and said ‘your sins are forgiven you’. One thing to note is that Jesus saw the extent to which the friends of the crippled man were willing to go to bring him before Jesus, allied to the paralytic’s willing to allow his friends to take him through what clearly was a risk and dangerous process of lowering him down through an opening in the rooftop; all because he wanted to be healed. Their faith became the bridge by which the power and love of Jesus was able to touch this man. In the same way, if you are willing to come to Jesus by faith, against all odds, finding a way around any obstacles that are in your way, as surely as night follows day, you too will experience the life-changing power and love of Jesus.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this simple prayer:
‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus. Amen!’