IF JESUS ASKED YOU: Questions Jesus Asked from the Book of Luke

Why are you reasoning in your hearts?

Luke 5:17-26 SCC 10/2/11


Everyone has an opinion of Jesus. When they are confronted with the evidence in scripture that declares Jesus is the unique God-man who saves us from our sin, they will have to make a decision. Jesus forced people in His day to decide as well. The healing of the paralytic begins to force people to decide!




††††††††††† Here is the setting for the entire healing incident. It is introduced as just one of the days that Jesus was healing. We have about 4% of Jesus 3 Ĺ yearís of ministry catalogued for us in the gospels. That amounts to parts of 50 days of Jesus ministry. This is what he did on one of these days.


††††††††††† The audience has some new members introduced to usóthe Pharisees for the very first time in Luke observing Jesus ministry. Both the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are officials of organized Judaism. The point here is that they begin to take an interest in the ministry of Jesus. Their presence reveal that reports of Jesus ministry were not going unnoticed even amongst the highest reaches of Judaism.


††††††††††† Luke tells us that the power of the Lord was with Him to heal. So the healing ministry of Jesus is in conjunction with the power of God. He may be a teacher but God is working through Him to heal and authenticate great claims in the process.




18-19 Motivated by faith in Jesus power to heal

††††††††††† The crowd congregating around Jesus blocking the way into the house made it impossible for a group of men carrying a cripple to get to Jesus for healing. Even though the normal entrance was blocked, undeterred somehow they make it to the roof, make a hole and let him carefully down right in front of Jesus. What is clear is these friends were not going to stop until they sit him right before Jesus. Now what would Jesus do?


20††††††† Jesus uses their faith in His power to heal to reveal His greater ability to forgive sin

††††††††††† Faith here is the belief in Jesus ability to heal this paralytic. In other words, Godís help can be found in Jesus. Jesus has Godís power to heal. But everyone is about to discover He has far greater ability than that! Jesus directly addresses the paralytic stating His sins are now forgiven. Zechariahís prophecy in 1:77-79 is beginning to be realized. Jesus healing power is a message that also has significant spiritual realities associated with it. People are going to be forced to decide who Hs is. Not only can Jesus heal He can also forgive sin.




21 Official Reaction of the Religious Establishment

††††††††††† Jesus previous claim gets a reaction especially since the man still remains paralyzed before Jesus. They knew the Law, of course, being teachers of it along with the legal traditions that developed in Judaism. Their private assessment is that Jesus has blasphemed which is eventually the basis of Jesus conviction and execution. His claim to forgive sin means he has assumed something for himself only reserved for God! Jesus deliberately inserted this claim here at this moment to introduce theological tension into his overall ministry. Everyone who observes His ministry from herein out will be forced to wrestle with its implications.

22-24 Jesus authenticates His divine authority

††††††††††† First, Jesus knows the content of their private reasoning v 22

This is a pivot point in the narrative with a change of direction in emphasis. We move from the narrative about the incident to Jesus instruction based on it. Jesus has the ability to discern the mind and heart. This prompts a decision to challenge their thinking directly. He begins by asking them why they should question him and His authority at all.


††††††††††† Second, Jesus challenges their private reasoning v 23

It is easier to say something you do not have to actually verify with action. It implies the more difficult necessity to visibly substantiate a claim that is made. The easier claim is to forgive sins. The more difficult is to see this paralytic rise and walk. So is Jesus claim to forgive sin just an empty promise or the real deal? Does Jesus claim of the forgiveness of sin actually have Godís power behind it? The miracles of Jesus have a greater reality behind themóthat is they are pictures of greater spiritual realties, which authenticate His claims.


††††††††††† Third, the purpose of Jesus claim it to reveal Godís power and authority in His ministry v 24

Jesus places this miracle in the context of His own authority as the Son of Man. This is Jesus favorite way to refer to Himself. Here then is the divine prerogative working through a man. Jesus is truly a man, a human, fully flesh, and in this man the divine is displayed and authenticated. This is a unique description of Jesus the God-Manóboth fully human and fully divine. It is God come in the flesh. ††††††††††† Jesus turns to the paralytic and commands him to: (1) Get up (2) take the mat and (3) go home.

So if this man walks this indicates Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. If Jesus has this kind of power and authority then he must be Godís unique agent of salvation. If God is the source of the healing then one is forced to come to terms with Jesus claims. The options are being purposefully narrowed! We are left to ponder these options and conclusions.




25 The paralytic departs healed and with joy

††††††††††† The fact that he immediately gets up and walks home shows that the healing actually took place.Each of the three commands is paralleled with a fulfillment and as he walks home he is praising God! So with the saving action of God there is also corresponding gratitude. God gets the credit here as this man saw through the healing to the divine reality behind it. He attributes it to God.


26 The Crowd astonished, is praising God and filled with fear

††††††††††† The conclusion of the event is the amazement that grippe the crowd gathered there around Jesus. (1). The astonishment indicates the unusual character of Jesus ministry. Everyone present duly noted it. This was certainly out of the ordinary. No one of the religious establishment had ever done such a thing.

(2) Glorifying and praising God indicates they too recognized that something powerful enough to be attributed to God has happened through this man Jesus. The crowd knew it was confronted with Godís surprising presence.

(3) Filled with fear indicates that at some level the surprising outcome engendered fear especially if it was God who was doing something unique that they had the privilege to witness.



1. This miracle is a turning point in Jesus ministry as His ministry is now measured in terms of forgiveness of sins. This is the paramount issue since spiritual realities revealed by means of His earthly ministry take precedence.

2. This healing shows God is committed to Jesusí ministry substantiating His claims as to the extent of His authority.

3. Faith moves the hand of God to exercise power on behalf of people who recognize their need.

4. Today people must still be confronted with who Jesus is. They may reason otherwise but declare!