While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.1 When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone,2 but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded3 for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."
Yet the news about him spread all the more,4 so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.5
One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law,6 who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.7
Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.
When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."8
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"9
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?
Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man10 has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."
Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God.11 They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."