Jesus heals a cripple
1: And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2: And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3: And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4: And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5: When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6: But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7: Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8: 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? 9: 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? 10: 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,) 11: I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12: And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Jesus calls Levi
13: And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. 14: And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. 15: And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. 16: And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17: When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Now we have a very interesting occasion. Christ is in Capernaum, his centre of ministry in the north. The News goes out that Christ is in the house and straight away a huge crowd gathers together. When we turn to Luke’s record we find that – there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee Judea and Jerusalem. The Jewish Authorities had arrived to begin their ten day investigation! According to their custom they had not come to speak but to listen, so Christ engages them in discussion without them having to speak. Christ turns to the man let down through the roof and says to him, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’. Now they began to think what! Who does he think he is? Who can forgive sins but God only? Now Christ knew what they were thinking and so he proceeds to answer their unspoken question. Christ says why are you thinking these things! Then he proposes a question. He says, which is it easier to say, your sins are forgiven or to say Get up and walk? Well obviously its easier to say Your sins are forgiven because nobody can see it. Its an invisible thing. However if Christ says get up and walk that is much harder to say, because within a few minutes it will be obvious to everyone whether your words are true or false. Now Christ is going to prove for ever that he can forgive sins by doing something that is much harder to achieve. If he can do the harder thing then the easier thing is obviously able to be done. So Christ takes him by the hand and cures his lameness and everyone was completely amazed and went out Praising God. The Religious leaders went back to Jerusalem with the news that this pretender to the Messiahship was very significant. Christ’s ministry was not carried out in a corner away, from prying eyes.