A Man With Palsy Healed, Matthew 9:1-8
Jesus entered into a boat and crossed over to the other side and came to His own town Capernaum. When He got there, they brought to Him a man paralyzed and prostrate with sickness, lying on a sleeping pad. In other words, the man could not get out of bed and walk. When Jesus saw the faith of the people who brought the paralyzed man, He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, take courage, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.”
Of course, certain of the scribes who were standing by said to themselves: “This man blasphemes. He claims the rights of God. He claims to be able to do the things God can do.”
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Why do you think evil and harbor malice in your hearts? For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven or get up and walk’?”
“But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralyzed man: “Get up, arise! Pick up your sleeping pad and go to your house.”
And the man got up and went away to his own house.
When the crowds saw this, they marveled and glorified God, praising and thanking Him that He had given such power and authority to men.
Boy, are there all kinds of lessons here.
First of all, we see once again that the faith of someone else healed this man, just as the centurion’s faith in Jesus healed his servant. It is interesting that Jesus saw their faith. What did He see? He saw confidence. He saw assurance. He perceived in His spirit that they had faith. Faith is not something you see with the natural physical eye. You can see the results of faith with your natural, physical eye. But faith is seen with the spiritual eyes. You just know when someone has faith. It is recognizable.
Secondly, here Jesus says that sins forgiven and sickness healed is all in the same package. One is not different than the other. He said: “Which is easier to say, your sins be forgiven or rise up and walk?” Then He proved that one is as easy as the other by saying to the man: “Get up and walk.” Why do we have such difficulty with healing and receive forgiveness of sins so easily? I have a theory and I believe I am right. Every church which is a truly Christian church preaches and teaches on sins being forgiven. But how often do you hear sermons on healing? Is it a weekly thing like the preaching of sins forgiven? When is the last time you heard your pastor teach on healing? Does he do it on a regular basis? You see, we believe and act on what we hear the most.
The other thing I noticed is that the religious leaders questioned Jesus and did not know Who He was, even though they had studied about Him, the coming Messiah. That shows me that we can read about Jesus and learn about Him and not really know Him personally. I thought it was interesting that He told them that their thoughts were evil and they were harboring malice in their hearts.
There is a place in the scriptures where unbelief is equated to evil. It is called an evil heart of unbelief. Apparently, unbelief is quite a big thing with Jesus. You either believe Him or you don’t. And you can’t pick and choose what you believe about Him. You either believe Him or you don’t. You either accept the whole package or you don’t. You can’t decide what is true and what is not. He either is or He isn’t as far as you are concerned. He and His Word are all Truth. Even when our minds are going tilt, we must still believe. He will help our unbelief. That is His job. All we have to do is give our unbelief to Him to fix for us.