2/13/15, 2/14/15 Faith & The Power To Forgive

Soon, they return to Capernaum, to Peter and Andrew’s home.  All the townspeople hear that they have returned, and that evening the house and surrounding area are packed with people trying to get in to see Jesus.  He teaches inside the house, but leaves the door and windows open so that those standing outside can also hear.  One man, hearing that the miracle worker has returned, hurries to the home of his friend, who is paralyzed.  “The Rabbi is back!  He can heal you!” he exclaims to his friend.  The man hurries to find 3 other friends who can help carry the man.  But by the time they get to Peter and Andrew’s house, it is so crowded they can’t even see the door.  “Don’t worry, I will find a way,” the man says to his friend.  “Stay here, I will be back as soon as I can.”  He goes around the house until he sees the ladder to the roof.  Nobody is there, because it is not a good place to see or hear anything.  He runs back and says, “We must get him up the ladder to the roof.  We can take out some of the roof tiles and lower him down on his mat from there.”  So the 4 men struggle to carry their friend up the ladder and onto the roof, and the plan works perfectly.

Stunned to see a hole opening up over them and a man being lowered on a mat right into their midst, the people inside the house look to Jesus to see what He will do.  He smiles at the man and says, “You and your friends have great faith!  Don’t be afraid, your sins are forgiven.”  Among the crowd are some Pharisees and Sadducees, watching the exchange with scowling faces.  Jesus, hearing their hearts, says to them, “I know what you are thinking, that I am blaspheming God.  So I ask you, what is easier, for me to say this man’s sins are forgiven, or to tell him to get up and walk?  The 2 are connected, but you cannot see the outward sign of forgiven sins as easily as physical healing.  But so that you can see I am the Son of Man and God has given me power to forgive sins, I will show you.”  Turning to the paralyzed man, He says, “Take your mat and walk home.”  The man, with a look of joy on his face, does as he is told.  And all who were present are amazed.  Not only have they heard great teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven and witnessed miracles of healing this evening, but here is further evidence that Jesus could be the Messiah!  Who else could have the power to forgive sins and demonstrate it so clearly?  But the Pharisees and Sadducees still do not believe.  They just grow angrier and more determined to take this charlatan down.

Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26

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