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Jesus, the Forgiving Healer

Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
—-Luke 5:20

This week we are looking at Jesus, the perfect healer, through the events recorded in Luke 5. As we come to verse 17 we see Jesus perform another miracle as He was teaching in a large home.

“Some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him” (v. 18). These men believed that Jesus had the power to heal their friend, so they carried their friend to Jesus. But to their disappointment, when they got to the house, they realized the crowd was standing room only. “Not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus” (v. 19). Middle Eastern homes had flat roofs, and the tiles were stuck together by mud. There was a staircase outside the house, so these friends navigated their friend on the pallet up the staircase. The men went to the part of the roof above where Jesus was teaching, removed the tiles, and lowered their friend in front of Jesus.

Jesus saw the man on the pallet and his friends. “Seeing their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you’” (v. 20). I can imagine the disappointment of that paralytic and his friends when they heard that. They didn’t come to have their sins forgiven; they came for their friend’s physical healing. Why did Jesus say the man’s sins were forgiven instead of healing him?

First, by forgiving his sins Jesus was solving the man’s deepest problem. You see, physical illness is only a symptom of our sin. Now, I’m not saying that all physical illness is caused by a particular sin we have committed, but the reason we get sick is that we all inherited the sin virus through Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

Second, Jesus pronounced the man forgiven of his sins to demonstrate that He was the Messiah. “The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). Only God has the ability to forgive sins, the Pharisees said. They were right, and that was exactly what Jesus was declaring to do. Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees, “‘So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’—He said to the paralytic—‘I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home’” (v. 24). In other words, Jesus performed this miracle to show that indeed He was the Son of God who had the power to forgive sins.

What was the result? “Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, ‘We have seen remarkable things today” (vv. 25-26).


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Jesus, the Perfect Healer” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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