“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.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God (Luke 5:24-26).
The house was at capacity. Standing room only. Those not able to squeeze in strained to catch a glimpse through the doorway. They were there to see Jesus who was teaching a crowd. But one man in particular could not get into the house. He could not peer over heads. He could not even stand. He was paralyzed.
Yet he and his four friends were determined to see Jesus. So his friends clambered up to the roof. They removed the tiles and then the thatching, enough to fit their friend through. Using the mat upon which he was lying, they lowered him down. Right at the feet of Jesus.
Some might call them crazy. Others might say they were obsessed. Jesus called it faith. The paralyzed man and his friends were confident that Jesus was able to make him whole. And Jesus did with five small words: “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
It’s not what many in the crowd expected to hear. It may not be the answer you want to hear when paralyzed with problems. We want real answers for our real problems. We want a cure for cancer. We want an end to family fights. We want money to cover our debts.
What about the problem of death? Death is the debt that we all must pay. But death is only the beginning. God’s judgment upon sin lasts forever. In hell. That’s what we deserve for thinking we have better answers than God does for life’s problems.
God’s answer? Jesus. God loves you so much he transferred your debt to his Son. On the cross, Jesus suffered for your sin. For you he endured hell’s eternal fire. For you he died. And for you he rose to life victorious. His victory is your victory!
The paralyzed man’s most critical problem was sin. So Jesus forgave him. Then, to prove to us that he is the perfect Son of God and the world’s perfect Savior with the perfect answer to all our troubles, Jesus restored the man’s legs. The man got up and walked home, praising God.
Have you been brought low? Troubled by sin? We welcome you to learn about and praise the miraculous Savior you have in Jesus. He has forgiven your sins. He has the power and desire to get you back on your feet. Whatever your woes, Jesus is the answer every time!