In God Stuff

Of all the people in this house somewhere around Capernaum, everyone had at least one thing in common; they had come to see Jesus.

Everyone came with expectations. The Pharisees came to catch Jesus saying or doing something wrong. The four friends who carried their paralyzed buddy down the dusty road on a straw pallet did so because they believed Jesus could heal.

They believed it so much that they wouldn’t take a crowded front door for an answer. They sweated their way up the outside stairs and upgraded this Palestinian track home with a brand new skylight so their immobile friend could be healed by the power of God.

Perhaps the first time in history anyone said, “Elevator…going down.”

Four men walked over. Five walked home. Or maybe ran. One wonders what the merchants in the market on the edge of town must have said about the goofy guy sprinting down the street with his bed tucked under his arm like a pet duck. Not to mention the four guys behind him in hot pursuit yelling “Glory to God!”.

Isn’t it a little early in the day for that?

Everyone in the house had come to see Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes with their heads full of knowledge and their hearts void of grace. They came, too. To see Jesus. It wasn’t the miracle that grabbed them. Though they’d be hard pressed to ever forget it. It was His words. “Your sins are forgiven.” Did he really say that? How could He? How dare He?

It was certainly something to stew about on the long slow walk back to the village.

Everyone had trouble falling asleep that night, consumed with thoughts of Jesus. The no longer paralyzed man pondering what it will be like to rise up with the sun when morning comes. And his friends, still flipping out over their faith fulfilled by the Son of God.

In the dark the Pharisees were awake, too. Jesus’ question haunting and taunting them, “Which is easier? To say “your sins are forgiven” or “stand up and walk”? Of course it’s easy to say your sins are forgiven. Who can prove that? If only He’d have stopped at that. They would have had a case.

But the guy got up and walked. Everyone saw it.

He walked.

Two groups of men. The Pharisees counting blasphemies. The friends and their now ambulatory buddy counting blessings.

Both came with expectations of who Jesus was.

Both left satisfied their expectations were met.

What are you expecting of Jesus?

“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the paralyzed man – “I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher and go home.” Immediately he stood up before them, picked up the stretcher he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God. They were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen incredible things today.”

– Luke 5:24-26

Todd A. Thompson – June 6, 2012

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