The healing of the paralytic in Kpar Nahum.
March 28th, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother:
Today you wrote a letter on the healing at the pool of Bethesda and the supposed blasphemy the Master committed when saying that he forgave the sick man’s sins, when only God can forgive sins. You explained that the message received by Mr. Padgett confused two events: The incident, which happened at that pool, that is to say, in Jerusalem, as it is only contained in the Gospel according to John, and the Bible story on Jesus’ supposed blasphemy (contained in the three synoptic gospels, but not in John’s), which happened in Galilee, in Kpar Nahum. Today’s message, in fact, is about this very topic.
In my last communication, I told you how we escaped from the crowd and barricaded ourselves in Peter’s house. It was not because Jesus did not want to heal people, or because he did not like people. Imagine the following situation: The Master arrives after a long walk, tired, covered with dust, hungry, and a crowd awaits him, screaming, pushing, touching him to obtain a healing, a tumult of the worst kind you can imagine. It is logical that he wanted to enjoy a moment of tranquility, and for that reason our “strategy of withdrawal.”
Well, it happened that people besieged the house for some hours. Meanwhile, we were full of curiosity and astonishment, and asked the Master how he had managed that marvel. When Jesus opened his mouth to answer our question, we heard a strange and troubling noise on the roof of the house.
The heart of the story can be reproduced this way (according to Luke):
Soon some men arrived carrying a paralytic on a small bed and they kept trying to carry him in to put him down in front of Jesus.
When they failed to find a way of getting him in because of the dense crowd, they went up on to the top of the house and let him down, bed and all, through the tiles, into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.
Yes, because of the crowd, and because we had blocked the door.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The scribes and the Pharisees began to argue about this, saying, “Who is this man who talks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins? Only God can do that.”
Jesus realized what was going on in their minds and spoke straight to them. “Why must you argue like this in your minds?
Which do you suppose is easier — to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to make you realize that the Son of Man has full authority on earth to forgive sins — “I tell you,” he said to the man who was paralyzed, “get up, pick up your bed and go home!”
Instantly the man sprang to his feet before their eyes, picked up the bedding on which he used to lie, and went off home, praising God.
Sheer amazement gripped every man present, and they praised God and said in awed voices, “We have seen incredible things today.”
Now, Mr. Padgett received the following explanation, mistakenly attributed to the scene at the pool of Bethesda:
As for the healing act which I performed at the pool of Bethesda, I am reported to have said, “Is it easier to say, ‘take up thy bed and walk,’ than for God to forgive your sin?” Well, that is the way it is recorded, but that is not what I said. Actually I said, “That thou may know that the son of man through the power of God can forgive sin, I say unto you, ‘take up thy bed and walk.’” It was only as God’s instrument in showing man the way to His Divine Love, that I could bring about forgiveness of sin, and not by any power of my own. If God did not forgive, I could not and neither can any man.
Well, my friend, since you know the background of the story, you may understand that there were neither “scribes” nor “Pharisees” present. Nobody accused Jesus of blasphemy on that occasion. On the contrary, everybody was grateful, and some were resentful, for not having found the opportunity for their own healing. This resentment, however, would also be healed on the following days, when Jesus walked freely again through the streets of Kpar Nahum, healing and preaching.
In fact, Kpar Nahum would become “his town,” absolutely loyal to him. You will also remember the centurion’s story, who approached Jesus with so much faith, asking for his help. Yes, in that town, trust in Jesus was absolute, not only amongst the Jewish population, but also amongst the heathens, and many of them lived there.
Yes, of course, it was this episode, which I called yesterday the “surprise we received from above.”
I also wish to tell you that you were right when writing in your letter that the scene at the pool of Bethesda brought problems to Jesus, but not because of a supposed blasphemy through the forgiving sins, but because he healed on the Sabbath day, which caused his first confrontation with the Temple authorities. But of this, we will speak on another occasion, very soon. This also happened in the year 26.
Tomorrow, however, we will have some fun. Tomorrow we will go fishing.
Until then, my dear brother, I wish you a good day. I am glad to see that during this week you have thought of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, each day with its happenings:
- Monday, when Jesus walked from Bethany to Jerusalem, with the episode of the fig tree.
- Tuesday, the episode of the woman with the alabaster flask, anointing the Master in the house of Simon “the leprous” at Bethany.
- Wednesday, the Temple scene, when Jesus turned the tables of the money changers upside down, accusing the Temple administration of being hypocrites and materialists, whose only interest was that of swallowing people’s money, of abusing their power and hiding behind their facade of sanctity. Jesus moved from Lazarus’ house to a camp in the garden of Gethsemane, aware of the danger, and in order to protect his friend.
- Thursday, with the Last Supper, my treason, and his arrest at night.
- Friday, with his “trial” and death, and with my suicide.
- Saturday, with the disciples’ panic.
- Sunday, with his resurrection, the empty tomb, his appearance to the disciples at Emmaus, etc.
Yes, my friend, these were the events. But there is still a long way to go, until we come to that date in our account: Almost three years in the Master’s life.
I will say good-bye now. Have a nice day.
Your brother in Christ,
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013