The Scribes sat mumbling among themselves, looking back and forth at each other with disbelief; reasoning in their hearts.
“Why does the Galilean speak in such a manner?” one of them indignantly asks the others.
“This man blasphemes!” added another. And another, “Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Surely He knows this! But why does He claim that He can perform this divine work?
It had begun as Jesus of Nazareth came again to Capernaum, where He’d taught in the synagogue, cast out unclean spirits, and healed those afflicted with various diseases. Even lepers had been cleansed! There had been a leper made whole, who had gone about the city spreading the word of his healing, showing all the people his pristine skin. This had caused no small uproar. Crowds began to follow the Galilean to the point that He was unable to enter the city freely. He then went outside the city to the deserted places. But the people came to Him from every direction!
Now here He was again in Capernaum at the house of one of the disciples. As soon as it was known He had returned, the people began gathering in the house. The crowd grew and grew, so that there was no longer room to receive them. Men sitting and standing in the house; women and children flocking around, desperate to get a glimpse of this great one, who was able to heal. This great one who seemed to be from another place.
They were there for the healings and the miracles, but they were also drawn to Him by a force they knew not. He always spoke to them, and with such authority! It was almost as if God Himself had come down from heaven to be among them! He was speaking now, preaching from the Scriptures of old.
Suddenly the roof of the house began to give way, particles falling to the floor, dust flying around the Galilean and those close by. Stepping back they looked toward the ceiling. Some in the crowd could be heard as they watched two men jump down into the room, right in front of the Galilean’s presence. “What is this! Men coming from the roof!” “Look! Could it be Roman soldiers?” “What do they want of the Galilean? Do they mean to harm Him?”
Just then the two men raised their arms toward the opening from which they had just descended. A man lying on a shabby bed, more like a pallet, was being lowered into the room. And there were two other men on the roof aiding them. They then gently laid the pallet on the floor beside the Galilean.
The Galilean, who was called Jesus, knew what was taking place. He knew the faith of the four men who dared bring this crippled one to Him. Such faith!
The crowd watched. No one dared utter a word, and in the hushed stillness, He spoke: “Son,your sins are forgiven you.”
Those piercing words! The words that had cut the hearts of the Scribes, now murmuring among themselves. Such blaspheme! Only God can forgive sins! What will He say next? That He is God? How can He explain this?
Jesus knew at that moment their thoughts, and He perceived in His spirit all the reasonings struggling within their hearts. Abruptly He turned to them. They weren’t expecting it, when He asked them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?” Dumbfounded, they did not answer.
Then Jesus continued with a challenging question directed to them: “Which is easier to say to the crippled man, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’”?
Still they did not answer Him. But Jesus was not finished. He would now make evident His deity, His divine nature in front of their very eyes!
Looking intensely, He said to them, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins,” turning to the paralyzed man on the pallet, He said, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
Instantly the paralytic got up from his woeful bed and left the house in the sight of all gathered there. Astonished eyes watched with awe, questioning what they had just witnessed.
As the Scribes turned and slinked away, the people were overwhelmed with amazement and began glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Jesus than left and went to the seashore; all the people were coming to Him. And He taught them.
Bible Novelettes are based in Scripture and are never meant to replace it.
Certain scenes and dialog are arranged for dramatic effect.
Thoughts of persons are in italics. The integrity of the Scripture is
maintained, and as always, the Bible is the final Word.
c. 2001 D~Ann Freeman, aka Deborah Donner
Indeed His gospel was not in the enticing words of man's wisdom but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. I wish more disciples would show the signs and wonders instead of just talking, talking, talking...