HEALING THE PARALYZED CHURCH
Rev. Thurlow B Weed III
Key West UPUSA Aug 31, 1969
Ibid., May 1, 1977
Revised, Rt. Rev. Thurlow B Weed IV
April 20, 2016
When he returned to Capernaum some time later, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them hen some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now the scribes were sitting there, and they though to themselves, “How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?”
Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, “Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which if these is easier: to say to the paralytic ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say ‘Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk’? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” – he said to the paralytic – “I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher and go off home.”
And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once, and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying “We have never seen anything like this.”
As this story opens, Jesus has just returned from a preaching tour in Galilee. He is now back in Capernaum, and the word has gotten around that he is back. Rumor says that the man has returned, and great numbers of people hear the rumor and come to the house where Jesus is.
Rumor is a powerful thing. Rumor can destroy a person by spreading false information that sounds so interesting it MUST be true. Rumor is such a powerful force that in time of war, governments set up special offices to counteract rumors.
But rumor can be a force for good. We have in this story a case of how a rumor can bring a person to Jesus.
Those were exciting days in Capernaum. People were interested in what was going on. There was a new teaching at hand, there was a new power working among them, there was something extraordinary. News of this thing got around, and crowds would follow Jesus, gather where he stopped, and listen to his teaching.
It was a new teaching and a new power. It was something extraordinary.
Do you know one thing that is seriously wrong with the church these days? --- It has become ordinary.
Every city and town has many churches, sometimes two or three in one block. They are scattered around the countryside. The church has become ordinary. It is no longer something unusual.