by Leanne Guenther and Sharla Guenther
Today's story is about a man who was paralyzed. Being paralyzed meant that he couldn't walk and probably couldn't use his legs. He would've had to sit or lay down all the time.
Just think for a minute how hard it would be to do things if you couldn't walk around. How would you go to the bathroom? What kind of games would you play? How easy would it be to make friends?
This story actually took place a few days after Jesus had touched a man who had leprosy and made him better. Jesus was going from town to town performing miracles and everyone wanted to see Him.
People were excited whenever they heard that Jesus was in their area because they either wanted to see a miracle or be the one who was healed.
So, as Jesus entered one of the homes in Capernaum people quickly gathered around him. So many people came that there was no room left, not even outside the door.
I can imagine that people were pushing each other a little bit to squeeze everyone in, plus there were people gathered outside to see or hear Jesus when he came out. That's where things got interesting.
There were four men who heard that Jesus was in town who decided to carry their paralyzed friend on a mat to him, to see if he could be healed. As soon as they got to the house where Jesus was, they realized that they wouldn't be able to get through to see him.
I'm thinking that the man they were carrying was getting pretty heavy and was desperate to see Jesus. They didn't know how long Jesus would be in town so they had to see him today!
Someone decided to take him to the roof of the building that Jesus was at! That might sound impossible but houses were built differently then. Most houses had staircases outside to get to the flat roof.
With a flat roof people could use this area as an extra living-space. It might have been like having a deck on the roof of your house.
Plus the roof wasn't made with large pieces of wood and didn't have shingles, but had tiles or plaster which could be lifted or broken through easily to make a hole.
The Bible says that after digging through the roof the men lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on down to where Jesus was.
Imagine listening carefully to Jesus when all of a sudden you hear something coming from above you. The ceiling is crumbling a bit and everyone stops and looks up to see what's going on.
I'm sure Jesus was smiling as the man was being lowered down. These men were so sure that Jesus would be able to heal him, otherwise they wouldn't have gone to so much trouble.
The first thing Jesus said when He saw that they believed was, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Probably not what the man expected, he came to Jesus because he wanted to walk.
Except that Jesus knew what this man needed most because he knew what was in his heart. Jesus knew that being paralyzed would be difficult but it was even worse not to be forgiven.
Well, some of the teacher's of the law heard Jesus forgive the man and they began thinking, "How dare this man forgive sins, only God can do that."
Immediately Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Why are you thinking these things?" Which probably startled the men because Jesus knew what they were thinking!
Jesus also asked them, "Which was easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."
This might be a bit hard to understand but I think Jesus was trying to get through to the teachers of the law and tell them that He was the Son of Man, and God has given him the power to forgive sins and heal people. These things could not be done by just a regular person but only by God.
Then, before He was finished Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."
The Bible says that the man got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. I just have to wonder how the man reacted when he was suddenly told that he could get up and go home?!
I'm thinking he thanked Jesus and maybe even gave him a big hug! He could've laughed and maybe did a little dance on his way out. He probably didn't go straight home either...what a day that would've been for him and his friends!
The crowd was very amazed and they praised God saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
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