Introduction: The cure of the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26, is a piece of Jesus’ teaching about God’s compassion and kindness, forgiveness and healing, towards the sick and sinners. Jesus’ main concern here is to heal the whole person, spiritually and physically, that is why he forgives sins first and then heals the sickness.
1.Read: read the text of Luke 5:17-26, slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
2.Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
3.Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord?
4.Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Do not say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
5.Take now the word, sentence, or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word leads you to action.
Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: in Jesus’ ministry is found all sorts of peoples’ reactions: the pharisees and the teachers of the Law that opposed to his teaching despite the miracles they saw; the seers who follow him from village to village expecting to see just miracles; those hopeful but helpless sick people searching for a cure, and those with faith in the pure presence of Jesus regardless of the miracles he performed. Could you identify yourself with any of those categories? In this text Jesus wants to show you who He is, so pay attention and listen to him.
Main points: “he was teaching one day…and there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law” … “Some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man trying to bring in” …“Seen their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you” … “Which of these is easier: to say, ‘Yours sins are forgiven you’ or to say, Get up and walk’?
- “He was teaching one day…and there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law”. There were rumours everywhere about Jesus’ teaching and miracles that attracted not only huge crowds of people but also religious authorities Pharisees and doctors of the Law. They gather from many villages to hear for themselves Jesus’ teaching with the intention of, not to learn from him, but to scrutinise with suspicion his orthodoxy, since he was gaining fame all over. They knew He did not come from their school of teaching neither acknowledged or received any approval of his teaching from higher authorities. They came to pass judgment on him and decide about what to do with Him.But Jesus knew what was in their heart that is why he want them to see and hear for themselves all that he did and taught. Perhaps we are like the pharisees and the doctors of the Law who are trying to know who Jesus really is, what he is about and what to do with him.
- “Some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man trying to bring in”… “Seen their faith Jesus said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you” These men knew that the paralysed man needed supernatural intervention, a miraculous healing, and like the Pharisees and the doctors of the Law, they also heard all about the deeds and teaching of Jesus. So, they decided to bring him in where Jesus was teaching, with the believe that he could cure him. But the house was full to the bream that there was no room for anyone else. But nothing could stop their determination to bringing him in to Jesus. Their ingenuity amused and surprised everybody including Jesus as they climbed to the roof and made a hole through it and lower him down in his stretcher exactly where Jesus was. Jesus was not only moved by their ingenuity but most of all for their efforts and their faith. Seeing that scene, Jesus wanted to meet their expectations but not without disappointment, because He first forgave him his sins which was unusual in the Jewish traditions and teaching. But He knew what he was doing and what exactly the paralysed man needed. When our spiritual life is crippled by sin like hatred, anger, envy, vengeance, etc., to mention some, our bodies suffer too consequently.
- “Which of these is easier: to say, ‘Yours sins are forgiven you’ or to say, Get up and walk’? Jesus knowing what the Pharisees and teachers were thinking and what intentions were hidden in their hearts, he asked them which was easier to say, ‘your sins are forgiven you’ or to say, get up and walk’? this was to show them that Jesus was the Son of God and that he had power to forgive sins and to cure the sick. They believed that only God can forgive sins and if anyone claims that authority blasphemes against God. Therefore, they accused Jesus of blasphemy straightaway. But we see here that if Jesus had blasphemed, He would not perform this miracle and everybody would have known that he was a fraud, a fake, a false teacher. But Jesus proved that he was God by healing the cripple man. That was the whole point that Jesus wanted to make, to reveal himself who He really was, by forgiving sins and curing the sick. How could the healed not glorify God after what happened to him. He was not only freed from paralyses, but he was freed from the burden of sin. Glory be to God!
Some questions for our reflexion:
1. What did you do with Jesus? Do you accept him who he is and what he does?
2. Do you believe that Jesus can help your friends and family members? Do you believe that what they need is Jesus?
3. What do you expect from Jesus when you ask him something, is it what you want or what you really need?