Summary: This is where He HEALS A PARALYSED MAN. Why does Jesus heal this paralysed man then, but doesn't heal Joni now? Joni is paralysed too. I can only say that Joni has been used of God all around the world to bring many people to Christ. Could God heal her?
Part 1 - Matthew 9:1-8 - LORD, HEAL THE PARALYSIS OF MY HEART!
I remember being invited to hear Joni Earekson Tada speak many years ago - a beautiful Christian woman who was paralysed from the neck down after a diving incident. When she spoke, the presence of God filled the room.
In Matthew 9:1, after being kicked out of the country of the Gadarenes because He destroyed their black market pig industry, Jesus returns to Capernaum. By the way, notice Jesus complied with their wishes. They asked Him to leave and He left. What an opportunity lost. When people reject Christ, He complies with their wishes and leaves? HE WON'T FORCE HIMSELF ON ANYONE. He won't force Himself on you. THEY WERE PARALYSED BY THEIR HEART ATTITUDE TOWARD CHRIST.
By the time He returns to the other side of the lake, the previous crowd has disbursed, but several days later, according to Mark 2:1, they hear He is back in town and come from everywhere to hear Him speak.
This is where He HEALS A PARALYSED MAN. Why does Jesus heal this paralysed man then, but doesn't heal Joni now? I can only say that Joni has been used of God all around the world to bring many people to Christ. Could God heal her? Yes! Why hasn't He done so? I don't know? I can only look at this and see what God can teach me concerning healing.
This paralysed man is brought to Jesus. Is this the guy who was lowered through the roof? (Mark 2:1-12). It seems so. I notice that it was after "seeing their faith" (Matthew 9:2) that Jesus said to the paralysed man "Be encouraged, My child! Your sins are forgiven." Jesus sees the real paralysis. HE WAS PARALYSED BY HIS SINS. What sins? Was He referring to the damaged roof when He spoke of sin? I think it went deeper than that somehow, though I am sure the houseowner wasn't all that thrilled with the roof damage.
I have a few questions. Why did Jesus call the paralysed person "Child"? Was it because he had become a child of God - been born again and Jesus saw that? It would certainly seem as if this man had responded positively to the saving power of Christ to forgive him. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says "...it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." James 2:20 (NLT) says "... Can't you see that faith without good deeds is useless?" Jesus responds to their faith and the faith of the paralysed man.
His friends can't forgive this man of his sin. Jesus can. All they could do was bring their friend to Jesus. That's all I can do too. Bring my friends to Christ. Only He can save someone. Only He can heal someone. My friends need me to make the pallet and be willing to destroy a roof - ie DO ALL I CAN TO BRING THEM TO JESUS. Luke 11:9-10 (NLT) says "... keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." They did everything they could to bring him to Jesus. My deepest desire is that you know Jesus so if you don't know Him or the power of His forgiveness, then I AM BRINGING YOU NOW. Don't suffer from the PARALYSIS OF PROCRASTINATION.
Sin obviously was a great barrier in this man's life and Jesus assured him of forgiveness. But why is THEIR FAITH important here - the faith of the friends? Perhaps this is saying that Jesus saw that those who brought this man had faith in Him, but THEY WEREN'T SURE ABOUT THE PARALYSED FRIEND. He makes it clear to them that this man has faith also, by calling him "child" and declaring his sins forgiven. FAITH IS A PREREQUISITE FOR MY SINS TO BE FORGIVEN.
The Pharisees are more concerned that Jesus may have UTTERED BLASPHEMY than that the man was forgiven.
Jesus knew their thoughts. YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM JESUS. The NASB in Mark says that He was "Aware in His spirit". Matthew 9:4 (NASB) says simply "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?" They suffered from a PARALYSIS OF THEIR HARD HEARTS. Unlike the paralysed man, they obviously were NOT FORGIVEN, and Jesus gives them a chance to examine their lives, repent and come to Him in faith. But their hearts were HARDENED BY RELIGION RATHER THAN RELATIONSHIP.
Was it because He was God that He knew their thoughts, or was it because He had a word of knowledge? Or both? COULD I DO THIS? Could God give me insight like that into how someone is thinking? Yes! Why not!