Luke 5:16-20

Luke 5:16 (KJB)
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Jesus frequently left the crowded cities and departed into the wilderness to pray alone. He Himself needed to have some alone time with His Father for prayer and communion. Jesus was not indifferent to the needs of the people but there are times when we must come apart for a time of rejuvenation.

Luke 5:17 (KJB)
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Jesus had now returned to Capernaum and was in a house. There were so many people gathering that it was absolutely impossible for the whole crowd to fit into the house. So many had stayed outside by the front door. The miracles no doubt had intrigued them and they wanted to know more and if you notice, Jesus was preaching the word to them. No matter how many miracles Jesus did, He always brought them back to the word. We are to walk by faith and not by sight. Miracles, signs, and wonders constitute walking by sight. (John 20:29 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Jesus told Thomas that he was blessed because he believed by seeing but then Jesus tells them that blessed are those who believe but have not seen. It is the walk of faith the builds the Christian and not the walk of sight.

Luke 5:18 (KJB)
And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.

Some friends of a paralytic had placed him on a bed and brought him to Jesus. The word “palsy” here is “paralytic.” This man must have been a real good friend because those who were lame, paralyzed, or had diseases were considered outcasts but in this case, this man must have been close to all four of the men who bore him on his bed. The bed would have been considered a “poor man’s bed.” It was basically a pallet with a thickly padded quilt or mat.

Luke 5:19 (KJB)
And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

When they arrived at the house where Jesus was, they could not get to Him because of the multitude. They now knew that they could not get to Jesus by means of the front door, so one of them must have come up with a great idea. What they did was, they went up on the roof and began to start removing tiles which would have opened up the roof or it could have been a roof made of dried mud and branches and once they knew that they had enough of which ever one removed, they then hoisted their friend up to the roof or there may have been a staircase on the side, either way it would have been no easy task and then taking ropes, probably one rope under the top where his head lay and one under the spot where his feet lay. Then they began to lower him down so that he would be right in front of Jesus.

Luke 5:20 (KJB)
And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

If you notice a very important statement in this verse “and when He saw their faith,” meant that the friends had enough faith in Jesus to bring their friend knowing that He could heal him. This is one of the things that Jesus looks for in the life of all His children and that is a living faith. What good is it if we claim to have faith in God and then do nothing to show that we have that faith? That would not even be a testimony but when we act on that faith, it shows we have a living faith in a living God.


Then Jesus says something which probably stunned the people. The friends brought him to Jesus for physical healing but something greater happened than temporary healing and that was the eternal healing of his soul through salvation. The one who will be judge on the last day has just forgiven the sins of this sick man. This is also a picture of Election. (Isa 65:1 KJV) I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. The man did not ask for salvation nor was that even on the mind of his friends, yet this paralyzed man being one of the Elect of God was given salvation because it was his time of visitation. This is why Jesus told him to be of good cheer because his soul was now cleansed of all sin.