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.
And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts said…whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
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.
And he arose, and departed to his house.
And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee..arise, take up thy bed.
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief…Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him.
In these two stories we find examples of Jesus performing multiple miracles in the same encounter. To the first man Jesus forgives him of his sins, and then Jesus heals him of the palsy. As anyone who has felt the burden of sins lifted can attest, obtaining forgiveness is truly a miraculous experience. Receiving real forgiveness is not merely a matter of words being spoken, it is of a broken spirit being healed.
In the second story there is, of course, the son who has his evil spirit cast out, but there is also the father who recognizes he is lacking in faith and asks to be lifted in that regard. Here we see an excellent example of the “enabling” power of Jesus in shoring up that man’s strength. Notice the wisdom of the father in recognizing his own lacking and asking the master of all to make a change in him. A common mistake we make is trying to “force” our faith, as if by clenching our fists and straining we could make it stronger.
I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not…
Our faith in Jesus requires us to be able to trust that he is empowered to do all that he promises to do. Where one doubts the ability of another, they will never be able to fully give their heart to follow.
These testimonies of how Jesus not only healed the blind, but also the deaf and mute and paralytic…that he not only healed the sick but also raised the dead…that he not only healed the sick and raised the dead, but also restored the soul of the sinner and strengthened the feeble…all of “these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:31)