By: Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons
Scripture: …And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed with a man which was taken with a palsy (paralysis and involuntary tremors): and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch (bed) into the midst before Jesus. And when they saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch (bed), and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God (Luke 5:16-26).
In our text for this message, Jesus is once again being challenged, pursued and “heckled” by His consistent enemies, the Pharisees and doctors of the law. In their blind ignorance of who He actually was, and is, they fruitlessly “grabbed” whatever He said or did and foolishly tried to make Him appear ridiculous and an imposter before His followers. Each time they miserably failed, and as a result, increased their intensity to try and destroy Him spiritually and physically as well.
On another of their consistent failure days, Christ outwitted them as usual by forgiving the man’s sins first, an act which really caused an uproar and acute criticism among them. They questioned His ability to forgive sin not realizing He not only was unquestionably qualified to forgive the palsied man’s sins, but also, theirs and ours as well. That was perfect timing for them and others to accept eternal life in Him, but due to their blindness, unless they repented afterwards, they miserably failed to gain eternal life freely given through the MAN, Jesus, whom they scorned.
Afterwards, to their utter astonishment, Jesus told the palsied man to “Arise, take up thy couch (bed) and go into thine house.” And immediately, he did, and gloried God which salvation is all about.
After almost a year’s “stint” in hospitals and a nursing facility, this writer discovered before and after my release, I could no longer walk, speak normally, turn myself over in bed, write this column, sing or play the piano. In fact, I had been placed on life support and “body deposit” arrangements made.
One day, after God had restored all my aforementioned gifts, but walking, I asked Him to let me walk again. He said, “walk”. The rest is history.
My friends, I pray that this testimony encourages you, your family members, friends and others. Pray and ask God in faith. He will bless you and yours. Please don’t give up!!!!