Luke 5:19

New Testament

17 Now on one of those days, while he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem), and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 Just then some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. 19 But since they found no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the roof tiles right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 Then the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who is uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Berakhot 34b

Babylonian Talmud

Having mentioned Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa in our mishna, the Gemara proceeds to further praise the efficacy of his prayer: The Sages taught: There was an incident where Rabban Gamliel’s son fell ill. Rabban Gamliel dispatched two scholars to Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa to pray for mercy and healing on his behalf. When Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa saw them approaching, he went up to the attic on the roof of his house and prayed for mercy on his behalf. Upon his descent, he said to the messengers: You may go and return to Rabban Gamliel, as the fever has already left his son and he has been healed. The messengers asked him: How do you know? Are you a prophet? He replied to them: I am neither a prophet nor son of a prophet (see Amos 7:14), but I have received a tradition with regard to this indication: If my prayer is fluent in my mouth as I recite it and there are no errors, I know that my prayer is accepted. And if not, I know that my prayer is rejected. The Gemara relates that these messengers sat and wrote and approximated that precise moment when Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa told them this. When they came before Rabban Gamliel and related all that had happened and showed him what they had written, Rabban Gamliel said to them: I swear by the Temple service that in the time you wrote you were neither earlier or later; rather, this is how the event transpired: Precisely at that moment his fever broke and he asked us for water to drink.

 Notes and References

"... In context, this is presented not in praise of a distinctive trait of a charismatic holy man but, rather, as an example of the importance of adherence to the Rabbinic precept regarding concentration in prayer. The Talmud presents a more developed version of the same story, in which Hanina makes a point regarding the association between sin and death (Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 33a) ... The Babylonian Talmud, at Tractate Berakhot 34b, also develops the Mishnah’s account of the meaning to Hanina of fluency in prayer ..."

Avery-Peck, Alan J. "The Galilean Charismatic and Rabbinic Piety: The Holy Man in the Talmudic Literature" in Levine, Amy-Jill, et al. (eds.) The Historical Jesus in Context (pp. 149-165) Princeton University Press, 2009

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