17 One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; 19 but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 20 When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed—“I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” 25 Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26 Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”
Jesus is teaching, inside a large group of religious people were gathered. In fact it seems that there was a larger than normal group there. Luke records that the power of God was present to heal in a stronger than normal manner. Is this a reference to the gift of healing?
Some men had a friend on a stretcher and they wanted to see him healed. Unable to get in via the door, they go to the roof and make a hole and lower him down to Jesus. Now this is an act of desperation! It shows the great love the men had for the paralysed guy, and how strong their expectation and faith in Jesus was. Jesus sees their faith. What did He see? He saw them carry this guy onto the roof, make a hole, and lower Him down. He sees their faith and perseverance.
Jesus, clearly realizing one assumes, that the man needs healing, and that the friends had brought him to be healed doesn’t go there. He says, “Your sins are forgiven”. Now the expectations of the man and his friends are dashed, and Jesus has managed to insight the displeasure of the religious men. A classic lose, lose!
The religious guys claim He is blaspheming, knowing that God alone can forgive sins. Jesus however had not created a lose lose. He knew what their response would be and used it as an object lesson to show who He was, the Son of Man. It was a question of authority, and to show that He had the authority He healed the man.
The man now gets what he came for, his healing, and leaves rejoicing. The crowd saw a miracle, and more, great authority, and they too praised God.
So it is clear that God’s power to heal can be ‘more present’ at some times to heal then others. It’s clear that faith can be seen and Jesus responded to that faith. It is clear that authority to forgive was seen as the domain of God and Jesus equated Himself with God.
I need to be more aware of when Jesus is present to heal and to ensure my faith can be seen!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta