When a paralyzed man is lowered through the roof of a house to the feet of Jesus, he receives a complete and undeniable healing. But not before Jesus Christ meets his greatest need — the forgiveness of sins. This account demonstrates the seriousness of sin, and the provision of the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Such an account should lead us to Jesus for forgiveness, and to worship.
Jesus Christ made the leper ‘clean’ – what does this mean? And what does the encounter between Christ and the leper teach us about the importance of true worship? Christ, in His great love, came not ultimately for us to receive anything, such as healing or prosperity, but to bring us to God — so that God may receive worship.
In these verse we see Jesus resolutely making gospel proclamation His priority. As the sick and possessed are brought to Him he shows them much compassion — He delivers them and heals them — but He also states very clearly that the reason He has come is not to bring comfort and prosperity in this life, to rid the world of disease and sickness, but to save people, to bring them to God. Our priority should also be to proclaim the gospel – to the glory of God and for the good of the people.
When Jesus begins His public teaching ministry in a synagogue in Galilee, His hearers are ‘blown out of their minds’! (An almost literal translation of the word ‘astonished’). They were shocked by His new teaching. He had great authority — unlike anything they had heard before. But so what? What does this teach us about Christ, and how do you and I respond to His authority?
The gospel is God’s glorious message of salvation, focused on the work of Christ. This message is vital, and needs to be both heard and obeyed. However the church today abounds with false gospels which produce false converts and dishonour God’s nature. This passage contains the gospel according to Jesus. It highlights three aspects of the gospel which must be remembered — for the good of our souls and for the honour of the King!