When the multitudes saw it, they marveled - Instead of εθαυμασαν, wondered, the Codex Vatic. and Cod. Bezae, with several other MSS. and versions, have εφοβηθησαν, feared. In the Gothic, and one copy of the Itala, both readings are conjoined, thus: And the multitudes seeing it, wondered and feared, and glorified God. Wondered at the miracle; feared to offend against such power and goodness; and glorified God for the works of mercy which he had wrought.
That which to the doctors of the law, the worldly-wise and prudent, is a matter of scandal, is to the humble an occasion of glorifying the Most High. Divine things make a deeper impression on the hearts of the simple multitude than on those of the doctors, who, puffed up with a sense of their own wisdom, refuse to receive the truth as it is in Jesus. The conversion of one rebellious soul is a greater miracle, and more to be admired than all that can be wrought on inanimate creatures. He who sees a sinner converted from the error of his way sees a miracle wrought by eternal power and goodness. May such miracles be multiplied!
They glorified God - See the notes at Matthew 5:16. To “glorify” God, here, means to “praise him,” or to acknowledge his power. The expression, “which had given such power to people,” was a part of “their” praise. It expresses no sentiment of the evangelist about the nature of Christ, but is a record of their feelings and their praise.
In the healing of the paralytic at Capernaum, Christ again taught the same truth. It was to manifest His power to forgive sins that the miracle was performed. And the healing of the paralytic also illustrates other precious truths. It is full of hope and encouragement, and from its connection with the caviling Pharisees it has a lesson of warning as well. DA 267.1
Like the leper, this paralytic had lost all hope of recovery. His disease was the result of a life of sin, and his sufferings were embittered by remorse. He had long before appealed to the Pharisees and doctors, hoping for relief from mental suffering and physical pain. But they coldly pronounced him incurable, and abandoned him to the wrath of God. The Pharisees regarded affliction as an evidence of divine displeasure, and they held themselves aloof from the sick and the needy. Yet often these very ones who exalted themselves as holy were more guilty than the sufferers they condemned. DA 267.2
The palsied man was entirely helpless, and, seeing no prospect of aid from any quarter, he had sunk into despair. Then he heard of the wonderful works of Jesus. He was told that others as sinful and helpless as he had been healed; even lepers had been cleansed. And the friends who reported these things encouraged him to believe that he too might be cured if he could be carried to Jesus. But his hope fell when he remembered how the disease had been brought upon him. He feared that the pure Physician would not tolerate him in His presence. DA 267.3Read in context »
I will refer to the paralytic who had not used his limbs for many years. There he was. The priests, the rulers, and scribes examined his case and pronounced it hopeless. They told him that by his own sin he had brought himself into this condition, and there was no hope for him. But the word was brought to him that there was a man called Jesus who was doing mighty works. He was healing the sick, and He had even raised the dead. “But how can I go to Him?” he said. FW 67.1
“We will carry you to Jesus,” his friends replied, “right into His presence; we have heard He has come to such a place.” FW 67.2Read in context »
But that mighty evidence given to the Pharisees did not convert them. Men can so encase themselves in unbelief, doubt, and infidelity that the raising of the dead would not convict them. Because of their unbelief they would be in the same unbelieving position, unconvicted, unconverted. But all those who have hearts to receive the truth and ears to hear, glorify God. They exclaim, “We have never seen it on this wise before!” FW 68.1
There was the impotent man, and as Christ talked with him, he told the pitiful story of how, just as soon as he would go down into the water to be healed, somebody else would step in before him. Christ asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6). What a question! That was what he was there for, but Christ wanted to call forth the expression of desire in that man's heart to be made whole. And when Christ bade him to rise, take up his bed and walk, he did just as Christ told him to do. He did not say, “Why, I have been here thirty years and have not taken a step during that time.” He did not stop to argue, but did just as he was bidden. He took up his bed and walked out and was healed from that time. FW 68.2Read in context »
Many of those who came to Christ for help had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them. And when virtue from Him entered into these souls, they were convicted of sin, and many were healed of their spiritual disease as well as of their physical maladies. MH 73.1
Among these was the paralytic at Capernaum. Like the leper, this paralytic had lost all hope of recovery. His disease was the result of a sinful life, and his sufferings were embittered by remorse. In vain he had appealed to the Pharisees and doctors for relief; they pronounced him incurable, they denounced him as a sinner and declared that he would die under the wrath of God. MH 73.2Read in context »