Seeing their faith, He said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." (Luke 5:20 NASB)
Let's put ourselves in the place of these four men for a moment. They had watched the man on the stretcher from the time his paralysis began, hoping he would improve. They were clearly trying to help, so they had likely helped him throughout his illness. When they heard about Jesus, a little seed of hope had begun to grow. When they heard he would be teaching in Capernaum, hope emerged full grown. I don't suppose they were worried about his sins being forgiven. They had sacrifices for that. What they were hoping for was physical healing.
Their hoping became action when they gathered up that stretcher-bed and carried him to Jesus. After the near-miss of the crowded doorway and the excitement of the rooftop entrance, their expectation must have been astronomical. They were looking to Jesus to see what He would do.
Jesus did they last thing they were expecting. He forgave the man's sin, then got into a heated discussion with the Pharisees. They must have been thinking, "Wait a minute!! What about his paralysis? He still can't move!" Just for a moment, they must have grumbled, "A lot of good it did to bring him to Jesus!"
They grumbled because all they knew of their story was the events of verses 19 and 20. They could not see what would happen by the time verses 24 and 25 rolled around. They only saw part of the story. The part they were seeking was just around the corner.
What if they had said, "If that's all you are going to do, Jesus, we are out of here!"? It's likely there would have been no healing for their friend that day. It may have been surprise or some experience with the ways of Jesus, but for whatever reason, they all held still and waited. As they waited, it became clear that Jesus had never lost sight of the paralyzed man. Jesus had planned to heal all along, but He would use the healing to demonstrate His authority and the power of God within Him to all those gathered.
Imagine the joy of those men as their disappointment proved temporary! Jesus did heal! They would not be carrying a stretcher back home that day. Their friend was jumping and laughing with great joy. They all were!
Perhaps you have waited for God to move for such a long time. Maybe it seems He has done everything except what you have asked Him to do for your loved one. It could be that you have "a few more verses to go". Maybe He wants to accomplish a greater purpose and a more complete victory. Don't give up hope, dear ones. Hold firm until all the healing is done.
Pray today that we will persevere until every one of our loved ones has experienced the healing only Jesus can bring.