Essay on Jesus and the Paralytic

Essay on Jesus and the Paralytic

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The passage in Luke starts mid-story as Jesus has overcome Satan in the desert and started his ministry. He has so far performed a miracle of catching fish, and healed a man with leprosy. His reputation was spreading quickly and many came to hear Jesus speak and be healed of their diseases. The passage Luke 5:17-26 is an introduction to the continued conflict Jesus has with the Pharisees and Scribes. It is the first time mentioned in Luke that they come to listen to him speak and they don’t approve of his message. Faithful friends of a paralyzed man bring him to be healed by Jesus. They finally get the man to the feet of Jesus and expect a healing miracle but instead he does the unpredictable; He forgives the man of his sins. This infuriates the religious leaders but Jesus does not stop there. He also heals the man’s physical ailment and immediately the man can walk. Jesus healing the paralyzed man not only displays Jesus’ power over the physical realm, but also affirms his authority to forgive the sins of those who have faith in him.
The pericope begins in verse 17, “One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal” (Luke 5:17, NRSV). By now, Jesus’ reputation had increased after Jesus heals a man with leprosy. “But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases” (Luke 5:16). The stories about Jesus apparently spread beyond Galilee to Judea and Jerusalem as the Pharisees and teachers of the law heard about him and came to investigate for themselves. This is the first occasion in Lu...

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... to Luke I-IX. New York: Doubleday & Company Inc., 1981.

Green, Joel B. The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospel of Luke. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1997.

Light, Gary W. 1994. "Luke 5:15-26." Interpretation 48, no. 3: 279-282. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed December 1, 2013).

Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "Scribe," accessed November 28, 2013,

Meier, John P. "The Quest for the Historical Pharisee: A Review Essay on Ronald Deines, Die Pharisaer." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61, no. 4 (October 1999): 713. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2013).

The New Encyclopedia of Judaism, s.v. "PHARISEES," accessed November 28, 2013,

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