miracle for us to consider today. In Matthew Chapter 2, Jesus is in Capernaum, staying in a home as a guest. News spread quickly that he was in town and soon the house was surrounded by crowds of people.
As Jesus began preaching, there were strange noises coming from above. “Was this the Lord God,” wondered some. Others did not know what to think. Jesus went on, unperturbed by the disturbance.
Suddenly, bits and pieces of material started falling from the roof. The people inside the house drew back in horror as a mat was lowered through the hole. What in the world was happening?
Jesus waited patiently for the mat to be lowered and the paralyzed man to look at him. Their eyes connected, and the paralyzed man visibly relaxed and fell back on the mat. In that moment, he was healed, both physically and spiritually.
Jesus could have stopped right there, but he knew that this was a great teaching moment. He looked up at the faces staring down at him from the hole in the roof, and nodded. Hw turned back to the man on the mat and said loudly, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The religious leaders who were present immediately started grumbling to themselves, “Who does he think he is?” Jesus knew their thoughts a Nd basically shamed them in front of the crowd.
“Which is easier?” He asked them. “Saying your sins are forgiven, or pick up your mat and walk?”. He paused for dramatic effect, while the religious leaders were getting red in the face at the insult.
Impatient with their stubbornness, he turned to the man, then looked around the crowd, and said in a loud, authoritative voice, “So you know that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins, stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
The crowd was astounded at him. Jesus openly challenged the religious leaders, then cured the paralyzed man in front of their eyes.
The irony is that the man was already healed the moment Jesus looked at him, but the people had to be shown graphically that the healing had taken place. May our faith be stronger than the need for signs!