11 Jesus’ Encounter with the Man Sick of the Palsy


Jesus is often found healing people and tending to those that are sick, homeless, the little children than He was found preaching or teaching. The reason was people were more open to His teachings after He had helped them. He truly fulfilled all the prophecies given about the Messiah from the Old Testament and would often point people back to the scriptures of what He was doing.

Here is another case of Jesus tending to someone that was sick.

Mark 2:1-2
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 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.

Jesus was famous already by this time. There was standing room only. And the amazing thing was that there was no internet back in those days. It was just all word of mouth and yet the house where He was was packed!

Why was Jesus so famous?

  • Mark 1:21-22
    21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
  • His teachings were not like how the religious leaders of the day taught. It was different. It was something that filled their souls with heavenly wisdom and the Spirit.
  • Mark 1:23-26, 28
    23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
  • He was healing and casting out evil spirits. What else?
  • Mark 1:32-34
    32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. 33 And all the city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
  • He healed the sick. He even healed a leper and look at what the healed man did after that:
  • Mark 1:45
    But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
  • Jesus was a famous preacher now. A famous healer. A hope amidst all the oppression in Israel under the hand of the Romans. So people were all gathered to listen to this amazing man sent from heaven.

And as these people gathered, Jesus began to preach the word to them. Healing was important, but it isn’t the gospel. True and total healing was found in God’s Word. Jesus knew that physical was only a small part of the equation. He needed to minister to their inner man, to speak to their hearts and minds. Otherwise we are just making people healthy sinners.

As He’s preaching, what happens though?

  • Mark 2:3
    And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
  • Four men bring their friend on a mat to Jesus. He was a paralytic. He couldn’t walk. He needed his friends. Or I should say, this man needed 4 Christians, or 4 deacons, or 4 deaconesses to help him.
  • Yes last week Jesus was the One who approached the man laying on his mat by the pool of Bethesda. But it is today’s story that aligns more with the mission that Jesus has given us in the present. We need to be bringing people to Jesus.
  • People will rarely come on their own accord. I should say, that this man was brought by 4 friends that he had met at church. Because it is too often that we bring people but they are a ministry, they are a number. They aren’t our friend. They aren’t people that we call friend. Just someone that needs Jesus. There’s a big difference between the two.
  • Friends are those you invite to your birthday party, to your hangouts, to your social gatherings. They are the ones that you call out for dinner or invite over for lunch. That’s a friend! And this man had four such friends. PRAISE GOD!

Let’s continue.

  • Mark 2:4
    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 they get to the house what do they find? People were blocking the way. They couldn’t get in. So what did they do?
  • With great effort they brought the man up on the roof, broke up the roof, and then lowered this man down to Jesus. It was urgent! This man must have been near the end of his life. They couldn’t wait for Jesus to finish preaching and teaching and for the crowd to disperse. They were unashamed to interrupt Jesus’ preaching and teaching. This man needed help and they were determined to get it!
  • If only we were that urgent in our evangelistic efforts!

Mark 2:5
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

  • Friends, can you see faith? Evidently you can. Jesus said He saw it. He didn’t see the faith of the man that was crippled though. He saw the faith of the 4 men that brought him and laid him at His feet.
  • But what did Jesus actually see? He saw 4 men carrying a man. He saw them trying to push through the crowd but wasn’t able. He saw them lifting him up carefully onto the roof. He saw them breaking the roof open and rudely interrupting the teaching of Jesus. And He also saw them lowering him down carefully at His feet even though they were so tired from everything that had been doing before that.
  • But wait, we don’t usually call that faith now do we? What do we call that? We call it works! But yet the Bible says that Jesus saw their faith.

There’s a really important lesson that we learn from this verse and this story. Faith isn’t true faith until it can be seen. Faith isn’t true faith until it is manifested in works! Faith finds its expression in the way that we live our lives, and the actions that we exhibit for everyone to see, not just for ourselves but also for others! Truly – faith without works is dead.

Friends, what are you works like today?

  • When Jesus sees your works today, can he declare that He sees faith? Or are the works more to do with the world and nothing to do with faith? Are you works guided by love for Jesus and love for man, in service to humanity?Or are you works all about me, myself, my life, my family, my time, my money? Me, me, me, me, me! Does your works lead people to the feet of Jesus where Jesus can heal them?
  • You can know the condition of your faith by looking at your works. Reflect on this past week. What has been the tenor of your life? You worked, you studied. You were busy. You didn’t really do anything bad. Everyone has to work and study, right?
  • But how about your free time? How did you use that free time? Was it for self-serving or for the benefit of others that you don’t call family or good/best friends?
  • There must be in the heart of the Christian that beats for the lives of others rather than just for self. To save them. To bring them to Jesus. This is something to really think about. Something really important that we need to consider. A man is NEVER saved by their works. We are saved by grace through FAITH! But you can know if you are saved by looking at your own works – not the works of others, your own works.

You know what is also interesting?

  • When Jesus sees the faith of these 4 men, he looks at the paralytic and tells him – your sins are forgiven you. It was probably like the man we studied last week – he was sick because of some secret sin that he had been practicing. He needed to hear the words of Jesus that God had forgiven him. Jesus knew his need. And the first thing Christ sought to do was to relieve him of his mental anguish. Guilt plaguing him that he was forsaken of God with no hope!
  • Jesus forgave him first.

But look at how the people around respond:

  • Mark 2:6-7
    6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
  • They rose up quickly to condemn Jesus. How can you forgive sins? Not realizing that they were privileged to be sitting in the presence of God at that very moment.

So how does Jesus respond?

  • Mark 2:8-12
    8 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? 9 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? 10 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,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 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.
  • Friends, what is easier? Is it easier to say to someone – You are forgiven. Or is it easier to heal a man who is paralyzed?
  • I think we know the answer, right? It’s easier to just simply say I forgive you than actually healing a man that cannot walk!
  • But you know what friends? The work that God needs to perform on the human heart is sometimes so much more difficult than just helping a man with a physical infirmity. The guilt that we carry with us, the worry on our hearts, a conscience stricken with the understanding of having done something wrong and now we are paying for the crimes of our actions weighs heavily on many people’s hearts. Jesus knew that what this man sought first was for forgiveness, to have the heavy burden lifted off his shoulders.
  • So many of us, we have a heavy load on our hearts, and we try and find a solution for it through drugs, or partying, or drinking, or games, or movies, relationships. What the world offers to us is endless and we jump from one vice to another addiction. We look for temporary solutions that the world offers and it leads us deeper into vice and sin. Jesus is the only One that can lift that burden.
  • The gift that Christ so longs to give each of us is a mind that is free from the burden of sin, guilt, shame and condemnation. And so he says to the man first, before healing him physically, that he is forgiven.

Only after that does Jesus then heal the man physically.

  • I know it’s easy for me to say because I’ve not experienced such a sickness in my life. But Jesus longs to heal the sin sick soul more than the physically sick. Why? Because He can give us a new body at the resurrection morning. Old things will pass away, and everything will be made whole.
  • Yet I know that probably most people out there that are reading this are probably not sick physically. But friends, have you realized the need for forgiveness in your heart? Maybe your sins have not struck you down physically and have not affected you in such a negative way that you NEED God or else you will perish! And that is where the difficulty in forgiveness lies. It is that many of us don’t realize how sin sick we are and how desperately we need Christ.

I want you to take for example the big picture.

  • There was Christ in this house. It was packed with people.
  • Why were they there? They had been listening to the preaching of Jesus! And then there was 1 sick person laying at the feet of Jesus. Yet it was only him that Christ forgave, even though there were many others in His presence and around Him that needed the healing stream that Christ was willing to offer to everyone.
  • Only 1 felt the need. Or rather, there were 5 people that felt the need. Including the 4 that brought the paralytic man to Jesus.

Here we see the comparison between the 2 types of Christian’s out there today.

  • Oh yes, they go to church. They are quietly sitting there listening to the sermon. But there are only 4 that are concerned and involved in bringing others to the feet of Jesus.
  • Friends, our Christian experience cannot just be tied up in going to church once a week. Or rather, tuning in once a week to facebook or youtube to listen to a sermon once a week or over the space of 24 hours. It’s not enough even just to sit at the feet of Jesus each day and listen to Him.
  • But how has Christ stirred your heart for the lost? How has your devotions brought you to the point where you feel a burning love for those that don’t know Christ and are hopelessly lost in sin? This paralytic man was in this hopeless condition – he represents the lost. That’s why Jesus said to this man that He forgave him!
  • What is the condition of your faith? Jesus saw the faith of these 4 men. And it was because of the faith of these men, that the paralytic man was healed!

Christ longs to work through each Christian. The fields are white to harvest, but it’s the labourers that are few. Christ needs today more men and women burning with the zeal of faith! A faith that starts off small like a mustard seed, but eventually grows into a big tree, providing cover for many others out there. He wants us to have the fountain of living water that will flow out in healing streams to bless others. He wants us to be a light set on a hill, so that when others see, they will in turn glorify our Father in heaven.

He wants us to live just beyond ourselves and our own lives, but to be a blessing to others. More than just going to church. More than just growing in truth. More than just walking with Jesus each day! All of which is important and necessary in our Christian growth. But now He wants us to open our eyes and see beyond our own pitiful existence. To realise it’s not just about me, myself and I. But it’s about others. It’s about bringing our friends, our neighbours, all those that pass us by, to the feet of Jesus.

And where to start today? He wants you to pray, “Father, thy will be done in my life, just as your will is done in heaven.” His will is done through the angels in heaven. Hebrews 1 tells us they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will be heirs of salvation.

He wishes for us to be angels. That’s why in Revelation 14, when it talks about the three angels messages, they are human beings represented as angels, as messengers. That, my dear friends, is learning to do the will of God today. May we be found busy in the Lord’s vineyard today!

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