A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
First, we need to take note that the faith of the men who carried the paralytic was an integral part of this event. They simply would not be denied. Jesus was moved by their faith and met the man’s greatest need – the need to be forgiven and made right with God.
Second, the spiritually dead dudes would have been okay with Jesus healing the man’s body, but how dare he pronounce the man forgiven of sin. Some things never seem to change. Today, it is okay for churches to feed the hungry and meet basic needs (as churches should), but start talking about sin and the need to be forgiven and changed, and the world declares you are out of line. Jesus boldly ministered to the entire person and we must do no less.