Humble Hero


The Burden of Sin

It was not physical restoration he longed for as much as relief from the burden of sin. If he could receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with Heaven, he would be content to die. The dying man had no time to lose. He begged his friends to carry him on his bed to Jesus, and this they gladly set out to do. But the crowd was so dense where the Savior was that it was impossible for the sick man and his friends even to come within hearing of His voice. HH 117.7

Jesus was teaching in the house of Peter with His disciples close around Him. And “there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem” as spies. The crowds swarmed around outside—the eager, the reverent, the curious, the unbelieving. “And the power of the Lord was present to heal.” But the Pharisees and doctors did not detect the Spirit’s presence. They felt no need, and the healing was not for them. “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.” Luke 1:53. HH 118.1

The friends carrying the paralyzed man tried to push their way through the crowd, but they could not. Would the sick man have to give up all hope? At his suggestion, his friends carried him to the top of the house, broke up the roof, and let him down at the feet of Jesus. HH 118.2

The Savior saw the pleading eyes riveted on Him. He understood the case. While the paralytic was at home, Jesus had brought conviction to his conscience. When he repented of his sins, the life-giving mercies of the Savior had first blessed his longing heart. Jesus had watched the first glimmer of faith grow stronger with every effort to come into His presence. HH 118.3

Now, in words that fell like music on the sufferer’s ear, the Savior said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” The burden of despair rolled from the sick man’s soul; the peace of forgiveness radiated from his face. His pain was gone, his whole being was transformed. The helpless paralytic was healed, the guilty sinner pardoned! HH 118.4

In simple faith he accepted the words of Jesus. He made no further request but lay in blissful silence. The people looked on with awe. HH 118.5

The rabbis remembered how the man had appealed to them for help, and they had refused him hope or sympathy, declaring that he was suffering the curse of God for his sins. They noticed the interest with which all were watching the scene, and they felt a terrible fear of losing their influence over the people. Looking into one another’s faces, they read the same thought—something must be done to arrest the tide of feeling. Jesus had declared the sins of the paralyzed man forgiven. The Pharisees could present this as blasphemy, a sin worthy of death. “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” HH 118.6

Looking intently at them, Jesus said, “‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.’” HH 118.7

Then the man who had been carried to Jesus on a stretcher rose to his feet with the ease and strength of youth. Every organ of his body sprang into activity. The glow of health replaced the pale look of approaching death. “Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” HH 118.8

Creative power restored health to that decaying body. The same Voice that spoke life to Adam created from the dust of the earth spoke life to the dying paralytic. And the same Power that gave life to the body had renewed the heart. Christ told the paralytic to arise and walk, “that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” HH 119.1