The Palsied Man Healed

TEXT:  Luke 5:17 - And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 


Matthew 9:1-8 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.


Mark 2:1-12 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. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 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. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 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? 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.


Luke 5:18-26 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? 23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.


PURPOSE OF THE MESSAGE:  Jesus healed people of their sicknesses to prove he is able to forgive them of their sinfulness and sins. He is able to give them a home in heaven with him forever.  Jesus was and is able to do that which we consider impossible.  Healing and salvation is not the same.  This miracle is proof that Christ can do both. 


There are three points to this message:

  1. The believers who brought the sick man to Christ – described more in Mark and in Luke. 
  2. The unbelievers who were listening to the words of Christ – described in all three passages. 
  3. The actual healing and the message of the healing – described in all three passages. 


I.    The story of believers who brought the sick man to Christ.  (It must be noted that all the men had faith – the sick man simply didn’t have the physical ability to act on his belief.)

A.     These people were not present, but believed already, and would bring others to Christ.

1.       They didn’t have to see to believe.

2.       Their faith in Christ is evident when they brought the sick man to Christ.

B.     It is important to understand the arrangement of the house.


C.     Lost people cannot come to Christ except some man guide them.

1.       Acts 8:31 – The Ethiopian Eunuch said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?”

2.       They are lost in their sins and cannot come. 

a.       They do not know to come.

b.       They do not know how to come. 

3.       It is our job to bring them to Christ.

4.       They are bound by sin, and cannot come on their own.

D.     Matthew 9:2 – Jesus saw their faith.

1.       I believe Jesus saw the faith of all the four men, plus the faith of the sick man.

a.       The palsied man could not physically go to Christ, therefore others brought him. 

b.       There is no Biblical record of the palsied man did not objecting, even when he was carried to the roof of the house.  

2.       Faith is always seen by the works we do.

3.       He saw all the trouble they went to in order to get the sick man to Christ.

4.       James 2:17 – Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 

5.       If we have faith, we will also have works.

E.      Their faith.

1.       Mark 2 - They went to all the trouble to uncover the roof tiles so they could lower the man before Christ.

2.       The centurion didn’t require that Jesus come to his sick servant, but it was enough for Jesus to simply say the word and heal the servant.

3.       Jesus said the centurion had more faith than anyone in Israel.

4.       The kind of faith the four had was more visible, but wasn’t as great as the centurion.

F.      What Jesus said.

1.       Luke 5:20 – Man.

2.       Mark 2:5 – Son.

3.       Matthew 9:2 – Son.

4.       I don’t suppose it really make a difference that the words are different.   Here is a man, who is a son of Abraham, a Jew.


II.    The story of unbelievers who were listening to the words of Christ.

A.     Who are the unbelievers?

1.       Luke 5:17 states there were Pharisees, and doctors of the law, which came out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem. 

a.       The doctors of the law were often called scribes or lawyers, which in the time of Christ, was those that made copies of the law of God, and taught the people what the law said. 

b.       They had perverted the law of God, and turned it into their own personal interpretations. 

c.       A scribe is the same thing as a lawyer.

2.       These people were present, but would bring nobody to Christ because they didn’t come to him themselves.

3.       They did not believe the words of Christ, so Christ showed them a miracle they could not deny.

B.     There are those people who are listening (yet not believing) the words of Christ that hinder those that need to come and hear and be healed.

1.       It is necessary that unbelievers hear the words of God. 

2.       Those words will either convict them and save them, or condemn them.

3.       We must remember that it is necessary for all people to come to Christ.

C.     Note their attitude.

1.       The unbelievers sat by, not at the feet of Christ.

a.       Mark 5:15 -  When the demon possessed man was healed, he sat at the feet of Christ.

b.       Luke 10:39 – Mary sat at the feet of Christ and listened to his message.

2.       Luke 5:17 states that on that day the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 

a.       The context of the passage reveals the power of the Lord was present both to heal all the physical infirmities, but also to heal the spiritual deadness of each. 

b.       Some commentaries state the power of the Lord was present to heal only the physical infirmities of the multitude, but those commentaries are wrong. 

c.       This miracle, in particular, was done, according to Matthew 9:6, Mark 2:10 and Luke 5:24, to show the unbelievers the Jesus Christ had power on earth to forgive sins. 

3.       They were unconcerned that the man had been healed, only that Christ had used the wrong words to heal him. 

a.       Matthew records that the multitude glorified God, while Mark and Luke states that all glorified God. 

1.)    Whether or not the unbelieving Pharisees glorified God is unclear. 

2.)    It is very possible they did glorify God, because the power of God was there to heal them. 

3.)    If the rocks would have been forced to cry the glory of God in Luke 19:40 when the power of God was present, surely these unbelievers could be forced to glorify God, even though they did not believe. 


III.    The actual healing and the message of the healing.

A.     When did the man get healed?

1.       Was he healed when Jesus said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee”?

2.       Was he healed when Jesus said, “Arise, take up thy bed and go unto thy house”?

3.       I believe he was healed at the first saying. The second saying was not to heal the man, but to show to the unbelievers that he forgiving sin and healing is the accomplished by the same power. 

B.     When the unbelievers saw the miracle, they said, “We never saw it like this before.”

1.       The unbelievers had evidently seen other healings by Christ, but this one they questioned because of the words Christ used.

a.       They were all amazed, and glorified God.

1.)    So they had to recognize that Jesus was from God, and that he was doing God’s will. 

2.)    Thus was fulfilled the purpose of the miracles of Christ. 

b.       Those “certain of the scribes” who didn’t believe the words of Christ probably didn’t believe the miracle, but they were amazed and couldn’t deny the miracle had come from God. 

2.       The passage could refer to the comparison between the miracles of Christ and the miracles of Satan. 

a.       Satan has long been able to do miracles, but they are not like the miracles of Christ, as Satan uses enchantments, while Christ simply uses his power. 

1.)    The miracle of changing the rod into a serpent. 

a.)    Exodus 7:8,9 – Moses simply threw down the rod and it became a serpent. 

b.)    Exodus 7:10 – Pharaoh called for the magicians of Egypt, and they, with their enchantments, turned their rods into serpents. 

c.)    Exodus 7:12 - Aaron’s rod swallowed up the rods of the magicians. 

2.)    The miracle of turning water into blood. 

a.)    Exodus 7:20 – Moses lifted up the rod of God, and the waters turned into blood. 

b.)    Exodus 7:22 – The magicians turned water into blood by using their enchantments. 

c.)    Evidently, the magicians of Egypt were not able to turn blood into water. 

3.)    The miracle of producing frogs. 

a.)    Exodus 8:5,6 – Moses lifted up his hand over the water, and frogs came. 

b.)    Exodus 8:7 – The magicians also brought up frogs by their enchantments. 

4.)    The miracle of producing lice. 

a.)    Exodus 8:16,17 – Moses produced lice by the hand of God. 

b.)    Exodus 8:18 – the magicians could not bring forth lice with their enchantments, thus they declared this is the finger of God, which was a power they could not overcome.  

b.       Acts 19:13-20 records that exorcists tried to cast out demons by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus whom Paul preached. 

1.)    The power of Christ was not present with them, therefore they failed miserably. 

2.)    Their failure caused the work of Christ to progress mightily.