The Healing of the Paralytic


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"Son, Your Sins Are Forgiven" Mark 2:5

Message to The English Service Church

2nd ECWA Amilegbe, ILORIN

January 12, 2006.

Topic: “Son, your sins are forgiven” Mk 2:5

Scripture Reading, Mark 2:1-12

Introduction                         

Good morning Christian brothers and sisters. I want to share with you this morning another lesson for our efforts in living a Christian life. The Christian life is not that of pleasure and good time living. All the sermons preached in this Church and the main Church are lessons to help us and encourage us in the difficult task of living the Christian life.

 

Some of us learn the lessons very well and make efforts to apply them to our daily living. Others forget as soon as they leave the Church, One thing we all tend to forget is that even though the Christian life is a life of FAITH, our believe and Faith must be accompanied by ACTION. Faith and Action in Christian Living is the lesson we want to share this morning.

 

We will note 3 key points in this message:

  1. SIN is disobedience to God’s will.

  2. FORGIVENESS is a grace all believers get but the the precondition for forgiveness of sin are:

(a)    Repentance and Reconciliation to the will of God and

(b)    Believe in the Redemptive power of Christ who has the power through God to forgive sin. To gain forgiveness and Salvation through the Grace of God, we need

(3) FAITH and ACTION.

 

In Mark 2:1-12 which is our text this morning, we find the story of the faith of the paralytic and his four friends or relations who found a way to bring him to the attention of Jesus for healing. It is a heart warming story of Faith and Action.

 

Some Bible commentators told us that there were 35 miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ in His Ministry as recorded in the Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew alone recorded 25 of those miracles, some of which are:

1. Cleansing a man with leprosy (Matt 8:1-4);

2, The healing of the centurion’s servant (8:5-13);

3, The healing of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (9:20-22);

4. Calming the Storm on the lake of Galilee (8:23-27);

5. Restoring sight to two blind men (9:27-31)

6. Driving demons from a dumb man and enabling him to speak (9:32-33);

7. The healing of the paralytic man brought to Jesus on a mat/bed/stretcher which we will find in both Matthew and Mark  (Matt 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-5).

 

In all these miracles, a common factor is that those healed had FAITH that Jesus could heal them. They did not just stop there. They followed up their faith with ACTION.

 For example:

1. The woman who had a bleeding problem (Matt 9: 20-22) had faith that Jesus could heal her and so she followed Him quietly in the crowd until she was able to touch the edge of His cloak from behind Him. Her faith was that touching his cloak was enough for her purpose. Imagine her efforts and strugglee to go close to Him in the huge crowd that day.

 

(2)   The man cleaned of leprosy had the same faith but took a different line of action. He squeezed through the crowd,  followed Jesus and when he got the opportunity he went and knelt before Him saying “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean” Matt:8:2). He demonstrated his faith through action; called Him Lord and stating his believe that He could heal the leprosy IF HE IS WILLING. His Faith and Action worked and Jesus replied “I am willing, be clean. (Matt 8:3)

 

(3)   The centurion came to Jesus saying his servant was ill and paralysed and that all he wanted was that Jesus should command that the servant be healed. He told Jesus not to bother coming to his house. As a military commander (a captain of a detachment of 100 soldiers in the Roman Army), the centurion could order things to be done and they were done instantly. By the same logic, he said what Jesus needed to do was “command” the healing of his servant. His faith in the healing powers of Jesus was so strong that he believed He could do the miraculous healing of his servant by “remote control”.

Jesus was impressed by such strong faith and He said “Go, it will be done just as you believe it would (Matt 8:13)”. Note that the centurion, even though he was a senior military officer, WENT to Jesus. He did not just send someone to Him. (Luke in his gospel thought the centurion sent someone, Luke 7:3-8). Even if we take Luke’s view that he sent some Jewish elders to Jesus, the centurion had certainly followed his faith up with ACTION.

 

(4)What of the miracle of calming the storm? It took place on the lake of Galilee which is known for its sea-like storms. These storms come suddenly and they could be very dangerous. Jesus was travelling on the lake in a boat with his disciples when a storm came and nearly sank the boat. But He was sleeping soundly in the  storm. His disciples woke

him up and asked him to save the situation. Surely, they should have known that with the Lord in the boat with them, they were completely safe. That was why Jesus told them that their faith was not enough. But He rebuked the storm and  the lake became calm again (Matt  8:26).

5.  Next is the healing of the paralytic which is our main focus this morning. It is a very interesting Bible story. The various versions of the Bible and the gospels narrated the story in slightly different ways. But Bible Commentators like Gill and Darby, are able to help us understand it more.

We need to know the type of houses the Jews live in at the time of Jesus, to understand this story. Most of their houses were simple single storey buildings, with a court yard and a flat roof which was also the ceiling. The roofs were  usually made of a mixture of mud and small stones. The low rainfall in Palestine meant that roofs made like that would not leak.  

The roofs were also used for drying crops away from domestic animals. The owner of a house could get in and out of his house through the front door and through a small window on the roof, with a ladder. Visitors use only the front door, while the owners of the house have both options.

When the paralytic man and his four friends carrying him on his stretcher were unable to enter the house where Jesus was, through the front door, they decided to go through the roof passage.

Some Bible commentators believe that the men carrying the paralytic must have removed the roof window or widened it to enable them lower the man to the floor where Jesus was. Others believe they created a new opening on the roof for that purpose. Whichever it was, their ACTION was unique, bold and difficult. Imagine carrying a paralytic who could not move any part of his body to the roof of a house and lowering him to the floor below the roof. They most likely used ropes tied to the four corners of the stretcher to lower the man on the  stretcher down. They accomplish this difficult ACTION because of their FAITH.

We should take note of two things which happened when Jesus saw the paralytic man brought to Him in that way. Firstly, He commended the man’s faith and said “SON, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:3). The man came to be healed but what he got first was the FORGIVENESS of his sins. In other words, Jesus first met the man’s deepest need which was forgiveness, before his request for physical healing.

Secondly, Jesus addressed the paralytic man as SON which showed total acceptance and compassion. This confirms again the purpose of the Ministry of Christ. His Ministry was for the salvation of mankind and by that dispensation we are all the children and the sons of God. The paralytic became a son by virtue of the covenant of Grace and with his faith and action the man received three gifts – FORGIVENESS, HEALING, and SON-SHIP of the Lord. He came for one thing (healing) but got three!

Christian brothers and sisters, there are certainly no physical paralytics here among us this morning, but we are all more or less  paralytics spiritually. We need those precious gifts which Jesus gave the paralytic man in this story – Forgiveness, Healing and the Son-ship of God.

Forgiveness is the greatest need of all of us today. We need forgiveness as individuals, as families, and as a Nation. The difficulties of our nation for many years now are caused by our FAITHLESSNESS  and lack of compassion and love for one another.  The difficulties of organizing our Nation into a modern state and a respected one among other Nations are also largely due to our faithlessness and lack of love and compassion for one another. 

Christian brothers and sisters, all of us here this morning have various needs that we want the Lord to address. If we are to list those needs, they will be numerous.

  • Is it the need to clinch that JOB you applied for;

  • The need for a PARTNER in life;

  • The need to enter College or University to further your EDUCATION;

  • The need to build a SHELTER for yourself and your family;

  • The need for a childless couple to have CHILDREN and so on.  

All these needs can be met by our Lord Jesus Christ. But there are conditions. We must first realise that we are all sinners and we have fallen short of the Grace of God, and that our first need before all other needs, is for our burden of sins to be removed. For that to happen we need to repent from our rebellious ways, accept Christ and have Faith in Him. Thereafter, FORGIVENESS, HEALING (that is the fulfilment of our needs), and SON-SHIP will follow.

May the Lord this morning forgive our sins through our FAITH and ACTION in seeking Him. May the Lord bless all of us abundantly.Amen!

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