Friends like that are a treasure. The life of the paralyzed man changed that day in a big way because of his friends. You might wonder what happened before the men carried their friend to Jesus. Perhaps the paralyzed man had never seen Jesus healing other people because he wasn’t able to get around. Would he have doubted his friends who obviously had seen Jesus’ miraculous work? They were sure that Jesus could help their friend. Jesus could see their faith.
Then it got a little dicey. Jesus simply said to the man, “Take heart, your sins are forgiven.” Well, that would have been quite a statement. God is the only one who can forgive sins. Who did Jesus think he was? The teachers of the law in the crowd were mumbling among themselves. Jesus knew their hearts, too. He called it out almost as quickly as their opposition began to grow.
Jesus wanted them to know he had the power to heal and forgive. Why was this man paralyzed? We are not told. If someone had an infirmity, it was thought to be punishment for evil. If from birth, parents would be blamed. Jesus was covering the bases here. The “why” was not important. The condition would soon be healed.
The people were filled with awe and gave praise to God for giving a human, Jesus, the authority to heal. They recognized healing as a gift from God. People today also have the gift of healing, but the power comes from on high. It is nothing the person does other than use their gifts and tap into God’s power. Jesus was tapping into his own Godly power.
I’ve always loved this story because of how friends help friends. We may know someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet. They may be lost and floundering in this life. We can share with them the life-changing, forgiveness giving, promise of eternal life. We can introduce them to Jesus.
You may be thinking, “but everyone I know already knows Jesus.” Do they really? I have known people who have gone to church their whole life but don’t really know Jesus. They are going through the motions. They are wondering, “is this all there is?” You can be the friend that opens up a whole new world for them. You can share how Jesus has changed your life.
Bring them to Jesus. Pray the Holy Spirit will be working in their hearts for a revival. God will see your faith. Jesus saw the faith of the friends of the paralytic and acted. He will do it again.
Let’s pray. Lord, give me the faith to see you and trust you with my life. May I be open to receive you and your healing for my brokenness. Don’t let me keep this good news of your saving grace to myself. May I share my faith with those around me in a way that inspires them to want to meet you, too. In Jesus’ name. Amen.