The Healing of the Palsied ManBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, June 20, 2010.
The Healing of the Palsied Man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26) I. Mark 2:1-12 will be the basis of this study. II. Palsy: “A disease of the nervous system, characterized by impairment or suspension of muscular action or sensation, esp. of voluntary motion, and, in some forms, by involuntary tremors of the limbs; paralysis.” III. This event took place at Capernaum which was then Jesus' home town. MAR 2:1 c/w MAT 9:1; 4:13. A. Jesus had just left the land of the Gadarenes where He was not welcome. MAT 8:34. B. Where gospel labors are not received, God's minister does well to change venues and leave fools to their fate. MAT 10:14, 23. C. But as is elsewhere seen, Jesus' ministry was not much more warmly received in Capernaum than it was amongst the Gadarenes. For this prophet, honour was scarce anywhere. c/w MAR 6:4. D. Capernaum, like Shiloh of old, had the honour of being the place where God put His name. JOS 18:1; JER 7:12. 1. It was also exalted as being the fulfillment of great prophecy. MAT 4:13-16. 2. It was in the most advantageous position possible on the cusp of the N.T. gospel kingdom era, yet, with few exceptions, did not capitalize on it. MAT 8:5, 10. 3. One of Jesus' most powerful and spiritual sermons was preached there but it only repulsed the masses and the superficial disciples. JOH 6:59, 66. 4. As bad as Sodom was, Capernaum would rate worse. MAT 11:20, 23-24. 5. Consider the gravity of indifference to the gospel. HEB 2:2-3. IV. MAR 2:2-5. A. Christ saw fit to preach a sermon in the house. 1. The preaching of the word is not confined to the synagogue, temple or the meeting house of the church. ACT 17:17, 22; 28:30-31. 2. When we pray for open doors of utterance, we should utter where the door is opened. COL 4:3-4. 3. Christ did not entertain them, call for social reform, excite them to political action or appeal to the crowd for financial support of His ministry. He “preached the word unto them” (v. 2). This is the foremost duty of the man of God. 2TI 4:2. B. “...many were gathered together (v. 2)” including scribes (v. 6), Pharisees and doctors of the law. LUK 5:17. 1. Luke says, “and the power of the Lord was present to heal them” ( LUK 5:17). 2. However, we only read of one person that was healed here: the man who was sick of the palsy. 3. What made the difference for the palsied man was demonstrated, diligent faith. c/w HEB 11:6. 4. Unbelief, doubt, or workless faith (JAM 2:18) limits God's best for our lives. MAR 6:5-6; 1JO 5:4; 1TI 4:10. 5. The Pharisees and doctors of the law were “sitting by” ( LUK 5:17). It is as if they were there for some other purpose than intimate involvement with the Truth. C. The man who was sick of the palsy could not convey himself to Christ, but he had four friends who were not afraid or ashamed of his affliction. ct/w JOB 6:21; 19:13-15. The Healing of the Palsied 6-20-10 Page 1 of 3 1. This was not the case with another. JOH 5:7. 2. These four men set a good pattern for all men, but especially for the church. 1CO 12:24-26. 3. Christ had a special eye towards these who spent themselves. May this be an encouragement to those who have taken the pains to bring the elderly, the infirmed, or little children to church where they can hear Christ preached, or who in love tend to the needs of the weak. 4. Clearly these four men highlighted two other cardinal virtues besides faith. 1CO 13:4-7, 13. D. Jesus “...SAW their faith...” (v. 5) They had displayed it by their actions. JAM 2:18. E. Consider what these men had done which evidenced true faith. 1. They did not let obstacles deter them from an encounter with Christ to gain his blessing. For the person who seeks an “easy access” religion, there will always be Jeroboams to set up idols in Dan and Bethel. 1KI 12:28-29. 2. They were not affected by what others might have thought of their actions. 3. They did not demand “handicapped accessibility” for their friend. 4. They were not so in love with the building that they could not modify it for a good purpose. 5. They were determined to obtain Christ's blessing. c/w GEN 32:26; MAT 15:21-28; MAR 10:46-52. 6. They did not think it callous of Christ to make them go through all that inconvenience to gain His mercy. c/w LUK 13:11-12. 7. One might say they were bold in their search for grace. HEB 4:16. F. On Christ's part, He: 1. did not upbraid the men for taking liberties to approach Him. 2. was not upset with this interruption. 3. was not repulsed by the presence of this invalid. G. Upon seeing their faith, Jesus did not then say, “Son, be healed,” but, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (MAT 9:2). 1. Sickness and afflictions are sometimes the direct consequence of sin (1CO 11:29-30; JOH 5:14). Therefore if the cause be corrected, the effect will disappear. c/w 2CH 7:14. 2. Our first concern should be spiritual things. There is greater cause for rejoicing in forgiveness than in miracles of the flesh. LUK 10:19-20. V. MAR 2:6-7. A. The “Wet Blanket” crowd found fault with Jesus. Certain scribes and Pharisees (LUK 5:21) accused Christ of blasphemy. B. The Law was clear in that God alone can forgive sins. ISA 43:25; DAN 9:9. C. It is said here that they were reasoning in their hearts to come up with this conclusion. 1. There is nothing wrong with applying reason to the word of God. ACT 17:2; 18:4, 19; 24:25. 2. The problem that these men had was a fallacy in reasoning called “inadequate sampling.” This is a generalization made on the basis of too few particulars or to the exclusion of particulars that would militate against it. 3. They were correct in that only God can forgive sins. Their error was in overlooking what the Law said about Messiah, His nature and ministry, the time of His coming, etc., and therefore assuming that Jesus could not be God. DEU 18:15; ISA7:14; 9:6; JOH 15:24. The Healing of the Palsied 6-20-10 Page 2 of 3 VI. MAR 2:8-12. A. Jesus knew what they were thinking. HEB 4:12-13. B. Jesus then equated the power of forgiveness with the power to heal the flesh. v. 9. 1. It is at least as much of a miracle that a person be forgiven of sins as it is for him to be healed of an affliction. 2. The quickening voice of Christ is needed for both. JOH 5:25; COL 2:13. 3. There is healing for both body and soul in the atoning work of Christ. ISA 53:4-5 c/w MAT 8:16-17. 4. The ultimate fulfillment of this is in the resurrection and world to come. REV 21:4; PHIL 3:20-21. C. Jesus then underscored the real reason for His healing miracles. v. 10. 1. His miracles were not for theater. 2. His miracles were not His main mission. He did not come so that all saints might now enjoy a life free of pain or trouble. 3. His miracles were a testimony of His Deity and power over the the works of the devil. 1JO 3:8. D. Jesus only spoke, and the results were immediate. vs. 11-12. 1. So, too, with the pardoning of our sins upon confession. 1JO 1:9; 2:1. 2. There is no need for earthly intermediaries, formulaic penances, stations of the cross, prayers to saints, angels or Mary, purchase of indulgences, etc., etc., etc. E. The people rightly glorified God. We should do likewise. PSA 103:1-5.