We’ve heard this testimony often. The courage of the paralyzed man’s friends. The interruption as Jesus was speaking. The mess created in the house as the ceiling is torn open and the teachers of the law are saying that Jesus is a blasphemer.
What about the paralyzed man himself? Why did he not speak? The Scriptures does not record him saying a word to the Lord. Why?
Was he afraid to speak? Was he confident that the Lord would have mercy on him?
What went through his mind when Jesus said, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”?
Do you think that for a moment he wondered, “I came here to be healed not forgiven?” Did he recognize the sin in his own life? The Word does not elaborate on all that transpired. It does not illuminate the condition of this desperate soul.
When the Lord calls we know that we have encountered something inexpressible.
Often the wrestling for us is with our sin. We encounter Jesus and he tells us we are forgiven by the finished work of the cross. Like me, I have asked him to heal me of disease. Jesus can, he has and he continues to do so.
God created mankind in his image, the world, everything we see, and he was pleased. When temptation came, and mankind fell everything changed drastically. Sin landscaped the world and sickness ravished our perfect bodies. Sickness was introduced to the perfect world along with all kinds of evil and spiritual death. Physical death would also follow.
Sometimes we miss the correlation of sickness and sin. Not every sickness is a result of sin. After all,we do live in a fallen world. In this story of the nameless paralytic man we get some insight on the condition of the heart.
I wonder if this paralytic man understood this? When Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven”, what did this mean? Did it mean restitution? Did the paralytic man reason that today there would be wholeness in him? It was not a reward for the sick man but a gift from the Healer and Deliverer himself, the Savior of the World. Jesus was announcing that he was the only one who could forgive sin. No wonder the teachers of the law were angry.
When the teachers of the law saw this miracle that meant that a “heart check” was imminent for them!
No talking. No defending oneself. No excuses. Yes, Lord I am a sinner.
The gavel sounded, and it was in our favor. It’s for “whoever believes”.
I wondered if his silence was just a form of worship and awe. The paralytic man came in broken, a diseased sinner separated from God and left healed spiritually and physically.
The woman with the issue of blood, she said to herself, “If only I could touch his cloak, I will be healed.” No words. She hears, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” (Matthew 9:22)
God is not contained in the ark, the tabernacle, the church or anything made by man. He desires to live within each one who confesses his need and depravity. He desires to dwell in us; he knows our need. God dwells outside of any box we have falsely imagined. He has come to forgive sin and heal us. He is Healer and the Savior of the world bringing restoration to our soul and our bodies.
“Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10a)
Sometimes a quiet heart is an act of worship. It allows us to listen to the song of grace and mercy being sung over us. He loves us. In reply we worship him in spirit and in truth. Thank you, Jesus!