17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
There is no doubt in my mind that Luke includes this specific event in his Gospel because he wants his readers to understand that Jesus came with authority to return people into a right relationship with their Creator. The universal need that I share with this man and the rest of humanity is the forgiveness of my sins, and Jesus is the one who has the authority to bring that forgiveness.
I also read here of the faith of this paralysed man and his friends. They forcefully make their way to Jesus and the result is a miracle and an overflow of worship and praise to God. This says to me that discovering the wonder of who God is and all he plans for me and those around me is an adventure that will require faith, boldness and abandonment to His will. I believe that Luke shared this event with me because he wants me to know that Jesus is worthy of this faith and trust; Jesus has both the authority and desire to rescue my life and perform miracles in and through me.
Lord, I abandon myself and my will afresh to you. I push towards you boldly and without fear; meet me in your forgiveness and miraculous power.
Written by Andrew Mellor