Today’s message summary of December 27, 2015 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
On one of those days while He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea, and also from Jerusalem. And the Lord’s power to heal was in Him. Just then some men came, carrying on a mat a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and set him down before Him. Since they could not find a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the mat through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.
Seeing their faith He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think: “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–He told the paralyzed man, “I tell you: Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. Then everyone was astounded, and they were giving glory to God. And they were filled with awe and said, “We have seen incredible things today!”
Everyone in the world expects something. What are your expectations? What is your greatest need in life? If you are honest, the latter question will answer the first question.
There are four different groups of people represented in this passage: The Pharisees and the teachers of the law, the crowd, the men who brought the paralyzed men, the crowd, and Jesus with His disciples.
The expectations of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law: they were spectators, and even instigators. They had traveled several miles to Nazareth to see Jesus. They were sitting there to observe His ministry, and that he had the power to heal others. They had heard of Him, and wanted to see Him in person in order to try to entrap Him in His words.
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap Him by what He said.
He also said, “I assure you: No prophet is accepted in his hometown. But I say to you, there were certainly many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months while a great famine came over all the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them—but to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. And in the prophet Elisha’s time, there were many in Israel who had serious skin diseases, yet not one of them was healed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They got up, drove Him out of town, and brought Him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl Him over the cliff. But He passed right through the crowd and went on His way.
In spite of this, keep in mind that Jesus’ main focus was presenting the gospel message.
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.”
In this passage, it was noted that Jesus also had the power (Greek word – dynamis) to heal. Jesus was enabled by God to carry out His ministry.
Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity. He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone.
The Pharisees were policing their area of responsibility in order to uphold their own traditions. While some traditions are good, there are many that need to be left alone and let go. They wanted Jesus to submit to their own religious traditions.
The expectations of the crowd: some were there to glorify God and learn more about Jesus, some were there for healing, some were there just to be spectators.
The expectations of the four friends (of the paralyzed man):
they carried their friend to Jesus with determination that he would be healed (Luke 5:20). In case you missed it, they tore through the roof of the house to lower the man before Jesus because of the size of the crowd. They had to dig through different materials to accomplish their feat. It showed their degree of faith, and were hopeful that their friend would be made well.
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!”
“I will come and heal him,” He told him.
“Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.
There is a great value having faith in the Lord.
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
The expectations of the paralytic man: While Jesus saw that he was paralytic, the deeper meaning here is that Jesus saw that this person needed forgiveness of his sins. He needed not just physical healing, but spiritual healing.
Jesus perceived the thoughts of the man, and He knew the thoughts of all of those present.
The Pharisees missed the point of Jesus’ comments to the paralytic; however, what they needed to see was that Jesus Christ has the power and the authority to forgive sin (Luke 5:21-26).
The expectations of Jesus: He was able to identify who He was before all of the spectators. He always referred to Himself as the Son of Man.
I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.
Jesus expects us to do something. What do you think it is?
He expects you to have faith in Him. He expects that you know and understand that He is the Son of Man, who has the authority to forgive sins. He wants you to believe who He is and in His teaching and that He has the authority (Luke 4:36) and the power to forgive your sins.
Does your faith drive your determination to seek after Jesus Christ?
What are your expectations about Jesus Christ?
What is your greatest need?
Our greatest need is not for material things or even for our bodies to be healed…our greatest need is for a Savior–Jesus Christ. The One who forgives our sins.