Luke 5:17-26 Lowered Through the Roof

17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.[a] 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralysed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’, or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralysed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”

Lowered Through the Roof

Although a group of friends take the initiative to take their paralyzed friend and lower him through the roof, it is neither the friends nor the paralytic who are the focus of the passage.  It is the character of Jesus that is the focus.  It is the way that Jesus lives that astounds those around.  Jesus deals with the root cause of the man’s paralysis, his sin.  Most people deal with the symptoms in life.  Most of us deny that illness and death are related to sin.  We might concede that smoking or alcohol abuse can lead to illness, but in many cases sin is a wasting disease that silently sits like acid bile in our bodies.  We are born into impurity and iniquity and Jesus is the only one who can cleanse.

It seems this kind of message has become very unpopular today in modern psychology.  In fact starting with a child’s feelings about themselves we try and make a child feel happy just by virtue of the fact that they are alive.Evangelism is seen as psychologically damaging by some.  However, it reflects the nature of the way the world really is and leads to deeper feeling related to grace and gratitude.


Jesus I am tired and my sin fatigues my body.  Please work in me to sleep and eat healthily.  Help me care well for the life that you have bought at such a price.


  1. What did Jesus do?
  2. Why were the Pharisees annoyed?
  3. What was the response of the people?
  4. How does sin affect your body?
  5. What would you want Jesus to do for you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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