DO YOU know anyone who is sick?— You probably get sick sometimes yourself. You may get a cold, or your stomach may ache. Some people are very sick. They cannot even stand up without someone to help them. This often happens when people get very old.
Everyone gets sick sometimes. Do you know why people get sick, grow old, and die?— One day a man who could not walk was brought to Jesus, and Jesus showed why people get sick and die. Let me tell you about it.
Jesus was staying at a house in a town near the Sea of Galilee. A crowd of people came to see him. So many people came that there was no room for others to enter the house. No one could even get near the door. Still, people kept coming! One group of people brought a paralyzed man who could not even walk. It took four men to carry him on a little bed, or cot.
Do you know why they wanted to bring this sick man to Jesus?— They had faith that Jesus could help him. They believed that Jesus could heal him from that sickness. Do you know how they got that paralyzed man to Jesus with all those people in the house?—
Well, the picture you see here shows how they did it. First, they carried the man up onto the roof. It was a flat roof. Then, they made a big hole in it. Finally, they lowered the sick man on his cot right through that hole and into the room below. What faith they had!
All the people in the house were surprised when they saw what was happening. The paralyzed man on the cot came right down into their midst. Was Jesus angry when he saw what the men had done?— Not at all! He was glad to see that they had faith. He said to the paralyzed man: “Your sins are forgiven.”
Some of the people did not think it was right for Jesus to say that. They did not think that he could forgive sins. So to show that he really could, Jesus said to the man: “Get up, pick up your cot, and go to your home.”
When Jesus said that, the man was healed! He was not paralyzed anymore. Now he was able to get up all by himself and walk. The people who saw this miracle were amazed. Never in all their lives had they seen anything as wonderful as that! They praised Jehovah for giving them this Great Teacher, who could even heal people of their sicknesses.
What do we learn from this miracle?— We learn that Jesus has the power to forgive sins and to make sick people well. But we also learn something else, something very important. We learn that people get sick because of sin.
Since we all get sick sometimes, does this mean that we are all sinners?— Yes, the Bible says that all of us are born with sin. Do you know what it means to be born with sin?— It means that we are born imperfect. We sometimes do things wrong, even though we don’t want to. Do you know how we all came to have sin?—
We got this way because the first man, Adam, did not obey God. He sinned when he broke God’s law. And we all got sin from Adam. Do you know how we got our sin from him? Let me try to explain it in a way that you can understand.
Maybe you have helped someone bake bread in a pan. What will happen to the bread if there is a dent in the pan? Do you know?— That same mark, or dent, will show on all the bread you make in that pan, won’t it?—
Adam was like that pan, and we are like the bread. He became imperfect when he broke God’s law. It was as though he had received a dent, or a bad mark. So when he had children, what would they be like?— All his children would receive this same mark of imperfection.
Most children are not born with some big imperfection that you can see. They do not have an arm or a leg missing. But the imperfection they have is serious enough that they become sick and, in time, die.
Of course, some people get sick more often than others. Why is that? Is it because they are born with more sin?— No, everybody is born with the same amount of sin. We are all born imperfect. So, sooner or later, everybody will have some kind of sickness. Even people who try to obey all of God’s laws and who do nothing really bad can get sick.
Then, why do some people get sick more often than others?— There are many reasons. It may be that they do not have enough food to eat. Or they may not eat the right kind of food. They may eat too much cake and candy. Another reason may be that they stay up too late at night and do not get enough sleep. Or they may not dress warmly enough before they go out into the cold. Some people’s bodies are too weak, and they can’t fight sickness, even if they try to take care of themselves.
Will there ever be a time when we will not get sick? Will we ever be rid of sin?— Well, what did Jesus do for that paralyzed man?— Jesus forgave his sins and healed him. In that way, Jesus showed what he is going to do one day for all of those who try hard to do what is right.
If we show that we do not want to sin and that we hate what is wrong, Jesus will heal us. In the future, he will remove from us the imperfection that we now have. He will do this as King of God’s Kingdom. Sin will not be removed from us all at once. It will be taken away over a period of time. Then when our sin is finally gone, we will never get sick again. We will all have perfect health. What a blessing that will be!
For more thoughts about how sin affects everyone, read Job 14:4; Psalm 51:5 (50:7, “Dy”); Romans 3:23; 5:12; and 6:23.