Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man
BIBLE REFERENCE : Mt 9:1-8, Mk 2:1-12, Lk 5:17-26

The setting differs in each Gospel, but the story is the same.
A paralysed man is brought by his friends.
Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven.
The local priestly classes object, say that only God can forgive sins,
effectively claiming that such forgiveness comes through the Temple.
Jesus heals him saying that he has that authority and implying
that the man was only paralysed because of his sins.
The man gets up and walks away praising God.

It is bad theology (illness does not follow sinfulness).
It is factually unsound (illness is not cured by words alone).
It legitimises destruction of property (the roof) for religious reasons
It encourages a belief in magical Christianity (God is real not magic).
However it does make a point and carry a message.

Jesus makes the point that we can put our past aside and walk freely.
The man did find forgiveness and in doing so was freed of his limits.
Did he physically walk again, or was that pure analogy?
Maybe he was tied to that bed by his mental state,
as much as by his physical condition,
just as we can be constrained
by our past failures.

Maybe he was paralysed by his present allegiances,
his freedom constrained by some past activity,
blackmailed into submission to evil ways.
Maybe Jesus tells him he too can
to join the freedom movement.

Maybe we are paralysed by our allegiances,
our freedom constrained by our religious practices,
blackmailed into compliance with our present doctrine.
Maybe Jesus is telling us that we too can
join his freedom movement.

back to Main List