Four Friends Helped
“My soul, bless the Lord… He forgives all your iniquity; He heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3
Jesus was in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee. The Pharisees and scribes—teachers of the law—came to listen to Jesus’ teaching. They were curious about His message and wanted to make sure He was teaching things that were true. So many people came that they crowded the house; there was no more room.
That day, four friends came to see Jesus. The four men carried their friend who was paralyzed. Jesus had healed people before—even people who were paralyzed. (See Matt. 4:24; 8:6.) The men believed Jesus came from God, and He could heal people. So their faith led to action. Because the friends could not get through the crowd, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus.
The man who was paralyzed needed to be healed. Jesus knew this and did something even greater; Jesus forgave his sins, and then He healed the man. Because Jesus is God, He has the power and authority to heal and forgive. Jesus forgives those who trust in Him.
Jesus’ words to the paralyzed man surprised the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Rather than saying, “Get up and walk,” Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The religious leaders kept quiet, but Jesus knew their thoughts. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, dishonoring God by claiming to do what only God can do. But Jesus did not blaspheme. He is God, and He has authority to forgive sins.
Jesus asked them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” Simply saying, “Your sins are forgiven,” seems to be the easier thing, but to actually forgive sins is harder, something only God can do. As God, Jesus has the power and authority to heal and forgive. And Jesus knew He would take the man’s sins upon Himself on the cross—an act of love that would cost Him His life.
Jesus healed the paralyzed man to prove to the religious leaders His power to forgive. Mark 2:12 records the crowd’s reaction: “They were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Psalm 103:2-3
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
BIBLE STORY: FOUR FRIENDS HELPED
- The house was full because so many people came to hear Jesus teach.
- Four men lowered their friend who could not walk through the ceiling down to Jesus.
- Jesus healed the man who could not walk.
- Jesus forgave the man’s sins.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why do you think Jesus forgave the man’s sins before He healed the man?
- How can you be a good friend to others? Who is a friend you know who needs to hear about Jesus?
- Participate in a fun run or walk as a family benefiting an organization that supports people with disabilities.
NEXT WEEK “Jesus Has Power Over Evil” (Mark 5:1-20)