A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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belong to poor people it would be one storey high with three or four rooms built round a courtyard. Possibly it was summer time and the courtyard had been temporarily roofed over with something like planks and straw matting. By now Jesus was well known in this part of the country as a teacher and healer and, as a consequence, so great was the crowd which assembled that it was impossible to reach even the door of the house where he was ; but while He was preaching four men brought a youth suffering from paralysis, carrying him on a stretcher or sleeping rug. Unable to make their way through the crowd they went upstairs and, after removing part of the roof, they lowered the paralytic into the presence of Jesusa truly remarkable scene !
The sick man thought his condition was the result of his sin, disease being generally believed by the Jews at this time to be God's retribution. In the Fourth Gospel they are reported to ask concerning a blind man, ' Did this man sin or his parents that he was born blind ? ' and Jesus replies, * Neither did this man sin nor his parents \ Although Jesus never discussed the aetiology of disease He does not appear to have accepted the prevailing view; for Him disease was not necessarily the result of sin. In this particular instance, however, He said to the young man in a tone of kindness and conviction, ' Child, thy sins are forgiven thee \ This declaration was intended to awaken in the invalid a spirit of faith and hope which had previously been crushed by the sense of unforgiven sin. If the sins themselves had been forgiven, why should not the paralysis which was their immediate consequence be also removed ? Some of the Scribes present resented Jesus' calm assumption of the power of forgiveness which they regarded as a peculiarly divine attribute.