Summary: Today our churches need stretcher-bearers, men and women of faith, to go out and bring the unsaved to hear the Gospel. There are people who will never come to church, unless you personally ask them, because you have influence with them.
Harmony of the Gospels
Title: Paralytic Healed
Jesus treated both sickness and sin. When He removed sickness and disease, it was evident that a person had been miraculously cured, because there was an immediate improvement in their condition. But with sin it was different. He came to us because of our sin, and He forgave men their sins, but the result was not visible to the eye. He could forgive sin because He was God and because He would pay the penalty for sin by His death on a cross.
The Bible tells us that sin is a problem for every man and woman that ever lived. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The “glory” of God is the approval of God. All of us fail to receive the approval of God, because we are all sinners. So how can we attain righteousness, which will bring His approval? Jesus was asked this question one day “…..what shall we do, that we might work to works of God?” This was His answer; “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28-29) And the important thing to know about this righteousness is that you don’t secure it because there is any merit in your faith or any merit in just believing. Faith is not a work on your part. The important thing is the object of your faith. Spurgeon put it this way: “It’s not thy hope in Christ which saves you. It’s Christ. It’s not thy joy in Christ that saves you, though that be the instrument, it is Christ’s blood and merit.” This is something very important to keep focused on.
In the following event, Jesus will treat a man’s sickness and his sin.
And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. (Matthew 9:1)
“His own city”, is now Capernaum, because He was rejected by Nazareth. He had been away for a long time, but now that He was back, it does not take long for those with needs to find Him.
And, behold, they brought to him a man sick with the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Matthew 9:2)
Palsy causes a man’s limbs to shake, so that he can’t stand or walk, making him helpless. This man with the palsy is brought to Jesus by four of his friends. Mark gives a more complete account of what happened, describing how they lowered him into Jesus’ presence through a hole that they made in the roof. There is no petition made, but it says that Jesus saw their faith. They may have seen Jesus heal before or they could have been told of His miracles, but Jesus knew that they believed that He could heal, because He could see into their hearts. But instead of healing the man, Jesus said to him, “Son be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” I don’t think that the man came for forgiveness; he came to be healed of the palsy. Jesus will get to the man’s physical problem, and along the way He is going to teach a lesson to some scribes and Pharisees.
And behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. (Matthew 9:3)
The scribes knew that only God could forgive sins, but they did not speak up. They thought that Jesus was blaspheming and that He could not make the sick man to walk.
Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? (Matthew 9:4-5)
They wouldn’t answer His question, and so they remained silent.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. (Matthew 9:6-7)
Jesus referred to Himself as “Son of man”, because that sums up for Him His vocation as a servant. When He said, “Arise, take up thy bed…..”, it was the same words that He spoke to the impotent man by the pool of Bethsaida. He is demonstrating, by healing the man, that He has authority to forgive sins. When the palsied man got up and walked, it meant that the One who could make him walk was also the One who could forgive sins.
And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. (Mark 2:1)