Read Matthew 9:1-8 and Mark 2:1-12.This passage was a little confusing to me until I read it in the other gospels and the study notes. That’s why I referenced Mark above. The question here, is Jesus equating the healing of the paralytic to the forgiveness of sins. If so, doesn’t that mean that the man was paralyzed because of his sin? So are all illnesses due to sin?
“When Jesus saw their faith….” NIV
The answer is no. Jesus does not teach that illness is due to sin in his life. Illness may result from sin, but it is not brought on by sin. Sin is a matter of the heart, where illness is possible because of the fall, but a by-product of our frail bodies.
So what is Jesus’ purpose here? Again it seems He is proving His deity to the Pharisees. First of all, the paralytic and his friends demonstrate a faith in Jesus by going to such lengths to get to Him. Christ knew their hearts, so he met the man’s most important, basic need first – the forgiveness of His sins. By doing so, He enraged the religious teachers because they didn’t believe even the Messiah could forgive sins. Only deity had that power. When Jesus asks, “Which is easier?” He is basically saying to the Pharisees, “See, I have the power to forgive and to heal. Both are equally difficult and can only be done through the divine. I am deity.”
- Although He is capable of both healing your body and healing your heart, the healing of your heart is always more important to God. The body is temporal; the soul eternal. Read Matthew 10:28, 1 Corinthians 15:50, and Ephesians 6:12. A major example of this is Job. If you haven’t read his story lately, take some time to read it now.
- Spend some quiet time today asking God to speak to your heart and reveal if there is any sin in your life that needs forgiving.