05 The Paralytic
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!" 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.
Mark 2:1-12 (NIV)
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, '”Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.." He said to the paralytic, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Luke 5:l7-26 (NIV)
17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic 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 that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.." 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."
1. Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social
2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
The person in need? . Others? ~. Jesus?
How was it expressed?
4. Describe the actions or process leading to the healing; that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, commands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom?
5. Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? ~. Non-verbally? ~. Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.
6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?
7. What were the reactions to the healing?
8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?
Note: Although Jesus grew up in Nazareth, his home during his ministry apparently was Capernaum where
Peter also lived.
1. Mark and Luke portray the men digging a hole in the roof in order to lower their paralytic friend through it to Jesus. Visualize the scene, the noise and activity of the crowd there- men hoisting the man on a mat to the roof, pulling the thatch and clay from the roof with debris falling into the room, attaching ropes to the mat and lowering the man through the opening. In some healing stories Jesus asks for privacy, but here the healings were being accomplished in full view of everyone. How does that instruct you?
2. Why do you think the men took the trouble to carry the man to Jesus? What did they hope for? How did their faith affect Jesus? In what ways can we carry people to Jesus?
3. How much faith did the sick man have?
4. Was the cause of the paralysis stated or implied? If so, how?
5. Why do you think Jesus' first words to the paralytic ("palsy" in the KJV) address the forgiveness of sins? Is forgiveness always necessary before physical healing? Is there any evidence that the paralytic was, in fact, forgiven? Was confession beforehand necessary? When we confess our sins and are granted absolution are we forgiven? Do we feel forgiven? Is the forgiveness manifested in any way? (Note: the Greek word here for forgiveness is aphientai which literally means "to send away.")
6. What do all three gospels say that Jesus perceived the teachers of the law were thinking to themselves? What was Jesus' response? What do you understand from this controversy between Jesus and the teachers of the law? (Note: it was the accepted teaching in that day that every sickness was caused by sin.) What is Jesus proving in this healing story?
7. In verse 17 Luke says, "And the power (dynamos) of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick."
(Also read Acts 10:38). Did Jesus always have the power to heal? Do you?
8. How did Jesus express love, counselling or encouragement?
9. What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?