Summary: The people of Capernaum wanted to see the physical manifestations of Jesus miracles, yet spoke of salvation. Are the two related?

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Title: Sickness or sin; let Jesus decide

Word count: 1791

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s,

in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 5th February 2012.

(A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Is 43.18-25 Psalm 41 2 Cor 1.18-22 Mark 2.1-12

Prayer: May the words of my lips and the meditations of our hearts be now and always acceptable in your sight. Amen.

Summary: The people of Capernaum wanted to see the physical manifestations of Jesus miracles, yet spoke of salvation. Are the two related?


This is a very familiar passage where Jesus healed the paralysed man who was dropped through a roof; yet there are many gems in this passage to be shared.

First of all, did you notice the city was called Capernaum; the very town Jesus began His public ministry. Did you notice the words, “he had come home”?

The first time Jesus came to Capernaum, he demonstrated His great power. He cast out demons and healed diseases of every kind; and probably healed nearly every sick person in that city. Basically His miracles eclipsed His message, the message where he first publically claimed he was the Messiah.

Jesus had returned

Now Jesus had returned to Capernaum; but the city now valued his miracles more than his message. They wanted the spectacular and rejected his offer of salvation, and as a result we read in Luke 10 that Jesus later pronounced a curse upon the city.

Jesus had returned to Capernaum, and entered into a house where he started preaching; (possibly to escape the crowd who wanted to see miracles.

Now we can relate to this crowd who wanted to see Him do the extraordinary, so imagine their surprise and disappointment when Jesus began to preach; and from inside of a house at that.

Jesus had decided that the message was far more important that the miracles.

We do not know what he preached that day, but I think it is safe to say that he preached on salvation, and the forgiveness of sins; as that is the conclusion to this story which has a sort of dramatic finale; where four men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus through the roof right in the middle of his sermon.

These men obviously believed that if they could only get this poor man to Jesus, then Jesus would heal him. Now that is faith.

The man is dropped through the roof.

I also think this was probably a humorous scene for Jesus; because in the middle of his sermon he would hear the men climbing onto the roof; and once there, they begin to dig through the ceiling, with all the plaster and branches and stuff falling onto those assembled below; then looking up they would see blue sky with four wee heads looking down as they make an opening large enough to lower their friend into the house.

I imagine there is a smile on the face of Jesus as He realizes what is happening; and then thinking, “this is just what I need to conclude my sermon”.

And so Jesus basically analyses the condition of this paralysed man, and diagnosed that this man’s problem lay in his sin; because he Jesus quickly and easily spoke the cure by saying these amazing words “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

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