Jesus Heals the Paralyzed Man

This familiar story of Jesus Healing the Paralyzed Man is often taught to children focusing on the persistence of the friends, or the ability of Jesus to heal. Both points are true and should not be diminished, but the most significant aspect is the part that Jesus Himself emphasized is His ability to take away sin.

The first words Jesus spoke upon seeing the paralyzed man were, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5) And certainly at that moment, they were. But the skeptical onlookers had their doubts. And with those doubts came accusations of blasphemy. The claim of forgiveness was reserved for God and God alone. Who was this Jesus to elevate Himself to the same level as almighty God? To the religious law experts, the words Jesus spoke were not simply errant, but incriminating.

But Jesus was way ahead of them. He was about to perform a miracle to authenticate His message (as every miracle in the New Testament does). There, standing beneath the freshly carved skylight, Jesus said:

I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” – Mark 2:10-11

Jesus certainly knew the limitations of those around Him. He knew the religious teachers lacked faith. They would only believe what their eyes could see. (As if reading their thoughts was insufficient evidence of His deity) Jesus performed a miracle in plain sight. He transformed the man’s legs as visual proof that He had already transformed the man’s heart.

Our kids have a keen sense of faith that many adults struggle to attain. They can grasp the full point of this lesson. Jesus still wants everyone to know that He has the divine power to forgive our sins.

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Jesus Heals the Paralyzed Man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12)

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