And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
This man would have never chosen his sickness. Surely he did not enjoy having to be carried about on his bed. Perhaps he was shameful of being in such a condition, and who knows how this palsy affected all the different aspects of his life or what opportunities were lost because of it. Surely it was a struggle he’d rather not have to deal with. But it was this most prominent and troublesome thing in his life that led him to Jesus.
His faithful friends would not have carried him on his bed to the house where Jesus was preaching if he didn’t have this sickness. They would have never broken through the roof and lowered him in if he wasn’t in such a desperate condition. But because of that loathsome thing in his life, he was at the feet of Jesus experiencing His mercy firsthand, being forgiven of his sins by the Son of God and then healed physically, as well—a demonstration to all those present of the ultimate power contained in Jesus Christ.
That same power can be at work in our lives. It can change our circumstances, and maybe sometimes it takes something like this man’s disease in our own lives to get us to Jesus in the first place. Maybe some hardship or some discouragement or some great trial we would have never chosen for ourselves is the exact thing that drives us to Him. Maybe that one thing about ourselves or our life that we dislike most is what it takes to get us to the feet of Jesus, where we can experience His life-changing power in a very personal way for ourselves.
This man received a double blessing that day because he received that great and priceless gift of salvation and also healing from his physical problem. And Jesus can work in our lives both spiritually and physically, as well. He has demonstrated His power over those things that can affect our lives so severely, those things that paralyze us or consume our lives. And if we have faith in Him, we, too, can rise up and go home different than we came. We can be free from those sins or those problems that plagued us. And we might even be thankful for whatever affliction drove us to seek out a man called Jesus in the first place.