Jesus Heals the Paralytic Three Times!3
My wife often tells me that I am not the best communicator. I don’t believe her, but she claims that there have been times in our marriage when she has attempted to relay a message to me, and for some reason I have either failed to absorb the content, or have conveniently chosen to forget. With this in mind, I would like to share with you a topic that the LORD has taken great effort to communicate to me in the past week. Over a period of about 44 hours, I was subject to not one, not two, but three separate sermons/talks on the subject of Jesus healing the paralytic in Luke Chapter 5. Richie Sessions spoke on the subject for the Men’s Steak Supper (which, by the way, was another resounding success); Eugene Cho spoke on it the first morning of a Christian conference I attended; and Robert Madu also spoke on it at the same conference later that afternoon.
For those not familiar with the story, here is a brief synopsis: Jesus was teaching at Peter’s house. Four men had a paralyzed friend that they wanted Jesus to heal. So, naturally, they climbed on top of Peter’s roof, dug a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend down to the floor in front of Jesus. Jesus looked at the paralyzed man and forgave his sins. Then Jesus read the minds of the skeptics in the crowd, perceived they were doubting his ability to forgive sins, and so, for good measure, Jesus told the paralytic to get up, take his mat and walk home. The story is pretty much just another average Saturday night in Capernaum.
One of Richie Sessions’ main points was that God rewards the bold. The four friends did not approach the door to Peter’s house and lose heart simply because there was no room to enter. They believed with every piece of their souls that, if they could simply get their friend in front of the Savior, Jesus could heal him. They were willing to dig through a mud roof approximately three feet thick in order to gain access to the Savior. My personal hope, and hope for our church, is that we are willing to tear the roof off when an obstacle comes between us and Jesus.
The conference speakers furthered this theme by begging Christians to avoid falling in love with the idea of following Jesus, rather than actually following Him. This may seem like minutia, but this point is so important. Often I love the idea of serving other people much more than I actually like serving them. We all love the idea of being generous to other people and the church much more than we actually like writing out that check, or forgoing attendance at a football game in order to volunteer at the local mission. These four friends didn’t merely love the idea of bringing their friend to Jesus, they actually did it! Reformed Christians are often pegged as the frozen chosen. Let us unfreeze our limbs to move and act on what we know in our hearts to be true.
We are blessed at Westminster to have a pastor that preaches the Word of God every Sunday. What a blessing it would be for our church if we would not only have ears to hear each Sunday, but legs to walk and arms to work. I pray that we as a people, faced with our own sinful paralysis, would listen to the voice of Jesus, receive His forgiveness, get up from our mats, and go out boldly proclaiming what He has done for us.