Since Jesus; departure from Nazareth, things had been going pretty well; He met with universal acclaim, He has been begged to remain in villages, and many have come out to hear His teaching and see His healing, but just as we saw in Nazareth, things were about to change. In this section, Luke begins a series of five stories in which conflict develops between Jesus and various Jewish officials; this parallels the events in Mark chapter 2. We begin here with the very familiar story of the paralyzed man who was brought by friends to the house where Jesus was teaching. The crowd was so large that they couldn’t squeeze into the house, so the men carried their friend to the roof and lowered him into the room where Jesus was. Impressed with their faith, Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven, something that shocked the Pharisees and teachers of the law in the room.
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus asked them which would easier for Him to do, to tell the man his sins were forgives, or to tell him to get up and walk… So, He told the paralyzed man to get up take his mat and go home, which is exactly what the man did, right in front of everyone. Jesus explained why He did this: “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (5:24)
God was glorified, everyone was amazed, many gave praise to God… and the seeds of discord were sown, for the Jewish leaders had something to accuse Jesus of: Blasphemy. To be sure, we will see this word again.