A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Perhaps he was born disabled. Maybe it was the result of an accident. Regardless of the cause, the man was left paralyzed, unable to walk. He had heard about a teacher who healed the sick and learned that Jesus was in the area. Four friends came to the paralytic’s house and carried him to find his only hope.
Jesus always attracted a crowd and on that particular day the house where He taught was packed. Unable to get in the door, the four determined friends carried the paralytic up an outside staircase to the roof. They cut through the thick clay covering supported by mats of branches and lowered their friend right in front of Jesus. Imagine clay and branches falling on the crowd as the four men lowered their friend down into the room.
Jesus saw extraordinary faith in their bold actions. He would heal the man physically (we will consider that tomorrow), but first he addressed the deeper need, the eternal need. He forgave the man’s sins and left us with an important lesson: Healing is good for life; forgiveness lasts through eternity. The healing enabled the man to walk; the forgiveness enabled the man to live.
Father, help us to not be more impressed by the healing of the body than the healing of the soul. Help us seek the most important thing, the healing of our souls, the thing that lasts for eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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