The Paralytic Matthew 9:1-8
Thoughts from Matthew 9:1-8.
Matthew tells the story of how Jesus healed and forgave these sins of a paralytic person and healed him. The parallel passages are Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26. Jesus returned from a teaching trip to a house in Capernaum. A crowd gathered and there was insufficient room to accommodate all of them. Jesus was speaking the word to all those who could hear.
While Jesus was speaking, four men came to the house bringing to Him a paralytic lying on a pallet or bed. Unable to get to Jesus, the men dug a hole in the roof and let the paralytic on his pallet down to Jesus. Seeing the faith of the four men, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven (verse 2).” The scribes who were present said to themselves that Jesus was blaspheming.
Jesus knew what the scribes were thinking. He asked the scribes, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ — then, He said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, pick up your bed and go home.’” Then the paralytic got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were awestruck, and they glorified God.
It stands out in this case that Jesus dealt with the whole man. Jesus forgave his sins and healed him physically. The Gospel writers do not say whether or not the man was a paralytic because of his sins. Jesus used the occasion to teach a vital truth. That truth was that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and to heal.
Another truth that stands out is that Jesus saw the faith of the four men and responded to that faith. Sometimes Jesus performed miracles when the people did not have faith. At other times, the faith of the petitioner is an important element. We cannot conclude, however, that someone who does not receive a miracle necessarily lacks faith. Jesus deals with each of us according to His purpose.
George M. Flattery, Ed.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.