Four Friends Bring A Paralyzed Friend To Jesus

We have been examining the leper’s healing in this series of posts. Today we are going to begin examining a second individual healed by Jesus, the man who was brought to a meeting by four friends.

Healing is God’s will. Everyone does not believe this but it does not change the fact that God has supplied healing for every sickness or disease that any of us will ever be attacked with.

Invariably people will bring up a friend, acquaintance who was not healed in a discussion like this. They will argue this as proof that it is not God’s will to hear everyone. Let me ask you a question. Do you know anyone who has not received Christ as their Savior? If they died today with first being saved they would be separated from God for eternity wouldn’t they? Using the logic that is applied to healing would it mean that it was not God’s will for them to be saved? Absolutely not!

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4

Paul tells us that God “will have all men to be saved”. This is His will but not all are saved. I believe that the same can be said of healing. It is always God’s will for us to be healed but not all will be.

The purpose of this series of posts is to examine Jesus’ ministry to learn how He ministered healing. There are accounts of multitudes being healed but there are also nineteen individual accounts of individuals who received healing. Approximately ten of these nineteen had their faith attributed to their healing.

We have already looked at the leper’s healing. He had faith in Jesus’ ability but not in Jesus’ will. The man expressed this to Jesus who responded and said, “I will be thou whole”. Jesus is unchanging and I believe His answer to the leper is His answer to us today. Healing is always His will even if it is not always received!

Approximately ten of the nineteen individual’s who received healing had their faith specifically referenced in the Gospel account. We are going to look at each healing in this series of posts.

And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Matthew 9:2-8

Have you ever read this account and wandered how a paralyzed man got up and walk? The paralyzed man referenced in these verses is a real person who actually lived while Jesus was walking the earth and he was able to actually walk.

We have seen what Matthew said about the healing. Mark also described the healing:

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
Mark 2:1-2

Mark tells us that Jesus was ministering in a house. The crowd was so large that there was not room for everyone who came which seems to indicate that people had to be turned away. The house was full when the paralyzed man and his friends showed up. With a crowd this size it would have been impossible for them to get the man to Jesus!

We see that Jesus “preached the word unto them”. Teaching and preaching was a major part of Jesus’ ministry.

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matthew 9:35

Jesus taught, preached, and then healed the sick and diseased. Many ministers try and reverse this order but it is the pattern Jesus set:

  • Teaching
  • Preaching
  • Healing

As we go work through our study of His ministry we will see that He taught more than He preached or healed the sick.

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Mark 2:3-12

The building was full but the four friends did not let that stop them from finding a way to get their friend to Jesus. They climbed up on the roof, dug a hole, and lowered the paralyzed man into the room where Jesus was teaching. I often wander what the man was thinking as his friends drug him up onto the roof.

Notice that Mark tells us that “Jesus saw their faith”. We will discuss this in more detail in this study. For now it just important to note that faith can be seen.

But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
Luke 5:17

Luke tells us an additional detail that neither Mark or Matthew included. He tells us that there “were Pharisees and doctors of the law” attending Jesus’ meeting. Today we would call these people Doctors of Theology. Having a doctorate is not necessarily a bad thing.

A danger we must watch out for is that thinking you know something about the things of God could be a hinderance to our being used by Him.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1 Corinthians 8:2

There will always be things that we do not understand or know. I have met well educated people who were proud of their education and very unteachable. We must always maintain humility because there will always be things about the ways of the Spirit for us to learn.

The Pharisees and Doctors of the Law were some of the most learned people in Judaism. They showed up at Jesus’ meeting and were present when the four friends dug a hole in the roof. Jesus was holding a healing meeting but these people were not there to receive a healing. The leaders were present to find fault with Jesus’ message and ministry.

There are many people who are walking in the spirit of the Scribes and Pharisees today. They show up at meetings and pick the messages apart. This is dangerous. A minister is a servant of God and if we disagree with their messages and teachings the safest recourse is for us to pray for their spiritual eyes (and ours) to be opened. I have had many ministers that “rubbed” me wrong in the past. As I grew in the things of God it became clear that I just was not at a point in my spiritual growth where I could receive what they were teaching.

I can picture these Pharisees and Doctors sitting in the audience with their note pads looking for something to find fault with. We will look at the healing of the man with a withered hand in a future post. These same Pharisees and Doctors were present for that healing as well. The account tells us that they grumbled about Jesus healing on the Sabbath day.

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Mark 7:13

I think it is heartless how people steeped in religious traditions are often more concerned with someone breaking a rule than seeing a hurting person receive deliverance or healing. Jesus said that it is our traditions that make “the word of God of none effect”.

I am not ashamed of the Word of God. We are going to dig into this and let Jesus’ ministry to these individuals reveal His will. The Word of God must become the final source of truth in our lives. Over the years I’ve heard people argue and do their best to “convince” people that we are right. It doesn’t matter if I think I’m right, if I am not in line with Scripture, I’m wrong. My prayer as we continue on with this study is that you will allow the Word of God to speak to you as it has for me.

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