Lessons From the Paralytic: Mark 2:3-12
“3) And they *came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4) Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5) And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6) But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7) “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8) Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9) Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10) But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11) “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” 12) And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”” Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭3‬-‭12‬ ‭
There is so much packed into these ten verses. First, the four men had no idea of the severity of the condition of the paralytic. Spinal cord injury is a serious condition. But to their credit, they understood they needed to get him to Jesus.
Second, they went to extreme lengths to get him to Jesus. They even tore a hole in the roof so they could drop him at the feet of Jesus. Our mission is to get people to Jesus!
Third, it was the faith of the four men that impressed Jesus. The text says that, “Jesus saw their faith.” Sometimes our faith needs to carry those who have none. What kind of extreme faith measures are you willing to take to get people in front of Jesus?
Forth, Jesus said to the paralytic; “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus traced the root problem to sin. I say this figuratively; “sin is always paralyzing.” It causes serious problems in people. The man had both a physical problem and a spiritual problem. Jesus was not about to heal the physical problem and ignore the more serious spiritual problems. Jesus dealt with his spiritual problem first. It would have accomplished nothing to heal him physically but leave him paralyzed spiritually.
Fifth, the scribes took offense at Jesus forgiving sins. They correctly understood that Jesus was making a claim to being Deity. They reasoned within themselves; “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They were wrestling the right question but missed the significance of the true identity of Jesus. They were right at the door of discovery, but refused to open it. Sin had them blinded! Spiritual blindness is far worse than physical paralysis!
Sixth, Jesus was “aware in His spirit” that they were reasoning within themselves about His statement and identity. This is a significant observation about Jesus. He was functioning on the level of His spirit and not on the level of His flesh or soul.
The scribes were wrestling on the level of their souls, but Jesus was ministering from the level of His spirit. He was discerning the full scope of the situation and turned it into a major witness to the entire crowd.
Seventh, Jesus turned the miracle into a platform to preach the gospel. He made it known that He alone had authority on earth to forgive sins. The focus of the scribes and the temple sacrificial system was on coving sin, but the focus of the ministry of Jesus was on forgiving and totally removing sin.
Eighth, Jesus closed His message by saying to the paralytic; “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” Jesus made him whole. He healed him. The miracle validated His message. The healing was not about the paralytic, it was about the identity of Jesus and the gospel message to the entire crowd, …and to us who read the story 2,000 years later!
Finally, “the man rose immediately, took up his pallet and went out in the sight of all.” He could not get to Jesus because of the crowd, but the crowd parted like the Red Sea to watch him leave. They had just witnessed a major miracle. They had just heard a profound message from Jesus. The seeds of the gospel were planted and sprouting.
Let me make a closing observation; there is a profound message behind every miracle Jesus does! Don’t focus on the miracle to the point of missing the message. Here it is: “Jesus is the only answer for your sin problem!”
No matter what draws you to Jesus, He will not ignore your paralyzing sin problem. Don’t ask Him to heal you outwardly and ignore your deeper inward sin problem. No matter your condition or excuse… find a way to get to Jesus. He is the only One who can make you whole!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global