THE PARALYTIC



Think about the miracles that Moses witnessed as God was leading His chosen people out of captivity. He saw the Red Sea become a super-expressway, water turned to blood, and a walking stick became a living snake. Water gushed out of a broken boulder, manna rained from heaven, and after forty years of walking through the dessert, his shoes never wore out.


God also did many miracles during the ministries of Elijah and Elisha. These miracles occurred while God’s chosen people were divided, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, and while they were obsessed with idolatry to pagan gods.


In another season of Israel’s history, after the Northern Kingdom was scattered by Assyria and the Southern Kingdom was exiled in Babylon, God performed miracles during the lifetime of Daniel.


Jesus, of course, worked many miracles, as did the apostles after Him. As the church was founded and formed, God worked through Peter and Paul to miraculously affirm their witness.


So, here’s an interesting tidbit to ponder. Outside of these unique seasons, few miracles are recorded in Scripture. From Adam to Abraham, and from Abraham to Joseph, miracles are infrequent. From the Judges and Samuel through the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, again, miracles are rare. Interesting? I think so.


In Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26, Jesus miraculously healed a paralytic who was brought to Him by his four faithful friends. It happened in Capernaum, Peter’s hometown, and Jesus’ unofficial base of operations. While gathered in someone’s residence, Jesus was teaching. So many people longed to hear the itinerate Rabbi that the house was packed with people. When the four men arrived at the door, they may have tried to politely press toward Jesus. If so, they must have been rebuffed. There was simply no room.


With strong backs, ingenuity and good-old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness, they carried their broken buddy to the roof, where they dug through the dried clay and twigs, exposing the sunlight to the crowded room below. With ropes tied to the four corners of the cot, they lowered him to Jesus. “Seeing their faith (the faith of the four friends), Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ ” (Mark 2:5). As you know, Jesus went on to miraculously heal the man, who jumped up, rolled his mattress and skipped out, with many astonished eyes watching every step.


When Jesus pronounced the man, “forgiven,” the religionists accused Him of blasphemy. They reasoned, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). Jesus asked them, “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat, and walk’ ”? (Mark 2:7).


Forgiveness is the greatest miracle of all! To heal a broken bone is no big trick for the One who created the skeletal system. To restore a severed nerve is easy-peasy for the Creator of the nervous system. Jesus was able to restore a broken body just by uttering a word, but to forgive our rebellion and open transgression, to redeem, to atone, to save eternally ... that cost Jesus everything.


Physical miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, the feeding of the 5000, and the healing of the paralytic, seem to be infrequent these days. But God is doing incredible miracles... He’s forgiving sin, He’s saving souls, He’s providing peace, He’s filling His adopted children with joy. He’s a miracle-working God!



All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from

Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.




RELATED POSTS