A Paralytic Is Healed
Verse 1 – And again He entered Capernaum after some days; and it was heard that He was in the house. (Probably Peter’s house.)
Verse 2 – Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no large room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.
Verse 3 – Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.
Verse 4 – And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. And when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
Instead of concentrating on how they got through the roof, I think Jesus wants us to look at the compassion these four men had for the paralytic man. How far are we willing to go to get someone in need to Jesus? We can all start by showing others we are willing to go that “extra mile” for them.
Verse 5 – When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Instead of speaking words of healing, Jesus says your sins, plural, are forgiven. Only here did Jesus link sins and the man’s paralysis. Perhaps there was some direct connection between the two.
Verse 6 – But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
Verse 7 – “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
Maybe they should have asked, “Who can heal, but God? The scribes never concentrated on the visible issue of healing. They always wanted to find fault on when, where, or how Jesus did it. Never on the fact that He was healing so many.
Verse 8 – And immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?
Verse 9 – “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise take up your bed and walk’?
Verse 10 – “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic,
Verse 11 – “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.”
You would think that after witnessing a healing of this magnitude, that the scribes would know that this Man, Jesus, was God in the flesh. However, when a heart is so blinded by hate, the truth fails the eyes and ears.
Verse 12 – And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
Don’t let your praise for God wear-off after He delivers you. How often people forget.
Verse 13 – Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.
Verse 14 – And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow Me.” And he arose and followed Him.
Levi is another name for Matthew. Though a tax collector for the Roman government was hated by the Jews, Jesus didn’t hesitate to call him to be a disciple of the twelve.
Verse 15 – Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.
Right away, Matthew wanted to tell others and celebrate by inviting others to his new-found faith.
Verse 16 – And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
This doesn’t mean the Pharisees were with them eating, they simply waited for some of the disciples to come out of the house.
Verse 17 – When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The self-righteous Pharisees were furious that Jesus would have a meal with sinners. Again, by making this statement they admitted Jesus was righteous or they wouldn’t have bothered. I wonder how many other tax collector’s lives were changed that day?
Verse 18 – And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. And they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
Fasting was only required on the Day of Atonement and when a great repentance needed to be made for sin. John’s message to fast was for repentance and for the coming of the Messiah. The Pharisees fasted twice a week to show the people an outward showing of how holy they were. Jesus disciples didn’t need to fast because the Messiah was with them. If we only fast for an outward showing, its useless.
Verse 19 – So Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegrooms with them they cannot fast.
Jesus is portrayed as the bridegroom and Jerusalem God’s people, as the bride. We as believers, have been grafted in, so that includes the body of believers, the church, as the bride. Revelation 21:2 – Then, I John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Verse 20 – “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.
Jesus shifts the focus to His forcibly being taken away, death. After His death, His disciples will fast, just as John the Baptist’ disciples were fasting now after John’s death took him forcibly away.
Verse 21 – No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse.
Verse 22 – “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
The Pharisees had become rigid like old wineskins. They could not accept Jesus by faith because of their ideas and rules. Our hearts can become rigid and hard like old wineskins which will prevent people from accepting Jesus. By placing our faith in Jesus, He gives a new heart transformed by the Holy Spirit, if you relieve Him.
Verse 23 – Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.
Verse 24 – And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
Harvesting and threshing grain on the Sabbath was specifically forbidden. However, the Pharisees considered even to pluck corn and to rub it as threshing. They even forbade walking on grass as threshing and would not even allow so much as a fruit to be plucked form a tree on the Sabbath.
Verse 25 – But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him;
Verse 26 – “how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except by the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”
Verse 27 – And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Verse 28 – “Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
When we make a bunch of rules and laws of can’s and cannot’s for our “Day of Rest,” we are forgetting the true intent. And then when we expect others to follow those same rules and laws, we are acting like the Pharisees!