A few years ago, while playing flag football with some students, I forgot I was no longer in my twenties. I dove for a pass, missed, and cracked some ribs. For several weeks it was excruciating to sleep, laugh, and move. My everyday mundane routine turned painful. Eventually, my ribs healed, and I was back to my normal self, but I learned two valuable lessons: (1) I’m not as young as I think I am, and (2) physical injuries can be debilitating.
In today’s text, we read about the paralyzed man who was taken to Jesus by his friends in an unorthodox way. In Capernaum, very possibly at the home of Peter, an outside staircase led to a flat roof made of mud and straw. The friends of the paralytic could not get in the crowded house, so they climbed the stairs, made a hole in the roof, and carefully lowered their friend (vv. 1–4). What determination! Nothing would stand in their way of getting their crippled friend in front of Jesus. Not a crowd, not a roof, nothing.
However, Jesus’ first words were not what they sought (v. 5). The man came to be physically healed, not to be forgiven of his sins! Nonetheless, Jesus was teaching them a powerful lesson. He had come to the world to be more than a physical healer. He had come to heal people from their sins.
This is one of many instances where the teachers of the Law got upset with Jesus and His divine claims (vv. 6–7). But Jesus was on a mission. He was not just healing their bodies but also saving their souls. He came as God’s Son and the Son of Man to forgive sins and offer salvation.
>> We tend to focus on our physical ailments, but there is nothing more impossible than the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the only one with the power to forgive sins. Surrender your life to Him and watch Him do a miracle!
We can take our physical and mental ailments to professionals who can offer treatment, but no doctor can cure sin. Dear God, we confess that we fall short of Your glory. Forgive us for our sins; You are the only one who can.