"He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."
Text: 1 Peter 1:20
THE OBVIOUS SURFACE NEEDS OF THE PARALYTIC
As the paralytic was brought down from the roof of the house to Jesus, many must have expected that he would be healed from his paralysis. His friends had certainly proven their faith in Jesus. There was ample power to heal the paralytic! His need was obvious! He was a paralytic!
THE DEEPER NEEDS OF THE PARALYTIC
All must have been surprised when Jesus spoke to the paralytic in the following manner.
“He said to the paralytic,
‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.'”
1. Addressing the paralytic as “Son”
How do we understand the way in which Jesus addressed the paralytic? Let us consider the following thoughts:-
a) The normal way in which a Teacher would address his pupil
i) The fulfillment of the role of an acknowledged Teacher
Jesus was seen and acknowledged as “Teacher” by many! That was an exalted title and position. The normal way in which a Teacher addresses his pupil is to called
“son”. (The book of Proverbs offers many examples of how teachers address their pupils as “my son” (Cf. Proverbs 2:1; 3:1, 4:1 etc). Jesus played many roles simultaneously. He was a Preacher, a Teacher, a Healer and more! He had every right to address anyone who follows Him as His “children”. Jesus addressed His disciples in like manner (Cf. John 21:5 where Jesus called His disciples “children”).
ii) The expression of deep affection for the addressee
The term “son” is a form of endearment. This address sets the tone and the manner in which Jesus was going to address the sin-problem of the paralytic.
b) The possibility that the paralytic was only a very young lad
This possibility may not be as strong as the former, because of the way in which Jesus addressed the sin-problem of the paralytic.
2. Beyond the obvious physical need
The physical need of the paralytic was obvious. He had to be carried about on his stretcher. Of course he would like to be healed!
The deeper and hidden need of the paralytic were addressed instead. The obvious needs were “spiritual” but they were more subtle, but nonetheless of inestimable worth! The paralytic must have been most excited to hear these words! At last, there was Someone who understood him in depth, and He could deal with the problem of sin!