Luke 5:17–26 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on
a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived
their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to
forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement
seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
I remember when I was attending Baylor University, I took my future wife
on a date (1982) to see the Film Society showing of the movie “Tommy” (1975). Elton John played the part of a blind, deaf, and dumb pinball player and he takes on the role of a Messiah. I do not endorse this movie and felt it
was blasphemous. People thought I was crazy. In the movie, they brought in a paralytic to see Tommy, but the crowd was too large. They opened up the roof and lowered him to Tommy and he heals him. I got up and walked out with Lori.
My friends thought I was crazy until I read them this reading and other things that the movie used to portray him as Jesus. What it came down to is that my friends did not know the Bible. The stories were foreign to them.
Today’s reading is not a 70's musical, but the real telling of Jesus healing a paralytic. This is truly amazing and the people were amazed, but there is something bigger going on here. Now the paralytic definitely
benefits from Jesus teaching moment, but this is about authority and who is Jesus. When Jesus sees the paralytic’s friends lowering the paralytic down, He said “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” The scribes and Pharisees
are now the ones crying out blasphemy. Who is this Jesus, that he thinks he has the power to forgive sins. I love this part, Jesus answers the question by doing the opposite. Jesus says: “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which
is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to
you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” You know, if Jesus has the power to heal a paralytic, then he has the power to forgive sins... because only God can do this. I love this because he probably left them the scribes and Pharisees
with their jaws hanging open. They were hung up on forgiveness... now they need to explain what just happened to the paralytic... in front of a large crowd. It’s like having the rug pulled out from under your feet.
I pray, O Lord... you are the Creator of all things, the Great Physician, and the ultimate forgiver of sins. You do have that authority because you are God. You are not only interested in healing, but you
are concerned for our spiritual well being. You want to forgive us, restore us, and lead us to our heavenly home in heaven. Thank you for giving me faith, forgiving my sins, and restoring me into your Kingdom. You are my Lord and Savior.
PS: Don't waste your time on the movie Tommy. Jesus is the real deal!