Jesus Cures the Paralytic

Circa 250
Wall painting
Christian church in Dura-Europos, Syria

This is earliest known non-funereal image of Jesus curing a paralytic, painted near the pool in the baptistery. Peppard (93) assumes it to be an illustration of the cure at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9), and this is probably the case. The other gospels tell of paralytics being cured in Galilee, but John's is the only account in which no one but John and the invalid are mentioned. In the others, the paralytics have friends that bring him to Jesus, but the man in John has no friends. Also, wavy lines such as we see here beneath Jesus' feet are used elsewhere in the baptistery to signify water; John's is the only account in which Jesus is anywhere near water.

The images in the baptistery are all arranged right-to-left, so the right side of the picture has Jesus first gesturing to the man as he lies on his cot: "Arise, take up thy bed, and walk." Then on the left side our happy camper does just that.

Read more about images of the paralytics.

Source: Wikimedia Commons