Having his sins forgiven was better than getting a cure of his paralysis.

 Thursday, 7/5/12

This story of Jesus curing the paralytic has more drama to it In Luke’s Gospel. Let’s go with Luke. He told us about a great crowd gathered around the synagogue with people straining to see Jesus and to catch some of his words.

Four men carrying a paralyzed friend came up to the crowd. They were gripping the corners of a sack the man lay on. Not able to clear a path to the door of the synagogue, they carried the paralytic around to the back from where they were able to hoist their burden up onto the building’s flat roof.

On determining the place on the roof just above and a little to the front of where Jesus stood speaking, they began removing the roofing tiles. We like to imagine the scene below as dust and straw began fluttering down from the hole that was growing in the ceiling.

The friends lowered the paralytic down to where he hovered in front of Jesus, who then surprised everyone with what he said. It was, “Your sins are forgiven.”

It is interesting to speculate on how various people took those words. We know how the Scribes and Pharisees took them. They saw them as evidence they could bring against Jesus in court. They would accuse Jesus of blasphemy, since only God can forgive sins.

The four friends holding the ropes might have been complaining. They had wanted a cure, not any mumbo-jumbo about forgiving sins.

It’s possible that the paralytic delighted in the word of Jesus. He might have lived in painful remorse feeling that it was his own sins that led to his paralysis. Perhaps he felt his sins had already damned him, and our Lord’s words gave him new hope.

We know what everything thought after Jesus said, “Pick up your stretcher, and go home.” When the man did just that the amazement and joy must have been the highlight in the lives of everyone there.   

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