Yahshua was visiting Capernaum. The news spread like wildfire. Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from every village in Galilee, and from Judea and Jerusalem. Together with crowds of local people they swarmed to the home where He was teaching. Dr. Luke tells us that the power of Yahweh was with Yahshua ‘to heal those who were ill’ [Luke 5:17]. Four men arrived, carrying a paralysed friend on a bedroll, desperate for him to be healed.
The house was jam-packed and surrounded by multitudes of eager people; there was no way through with the makeshift stretcher. Undaunted, the men carried their friend up to the flat roof [there would have been steps on the outside of the building] and began to remove some of the tiles. [I’ve always wondered if they fixed the roof afterwards!] When the ‘hole’ in the roof was large enough, they gently lowered their friend through the middle of the crowd and laid him at Yahshua’s feet! What an audacious act! How did the homeowner feel as the opening appeared in his ceiling? Were bits of it dropping down onto the heads of those gathered? Were there shouts of indignation? Or maybe awed silence as the man was lowered? It certainly halted the discussion!
Yahshua’s reaction was surprising. “When [He] saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven’” [v20]! It’s fascinating to understand that Yahshua saw the sick man’s primary need was to receive forgiveness. I wonder how the men on the roof responded to that? They’d been to a lot of trouble to try to obtain healing for their friend. The religious men in the company were thinking dark thoughts about blasphemy, but Yahshua discerned this and challenged them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’” [v23]? Then, to prove His authority to forgive sin, He healed the man, who immediately stood up and went home praising Yahweh! Amazing!
I wonder how often our eyes are fixed on the wrong problem. When we take our trouble to Yahshua in prayer, we can trust Him to deal with the primary problem. He always knows!