The passage from Isaiah describes people who should know better so deluded by pride that they start calling God’s principals evil, forgetting God’s role as Creator. Being unsatisfied with merely discounting God, they start promoting evil as though “it’s all good!” Such a people are unable to re-engage God when the consequences start rolling in. They may no longer even know His name.
The paralytic’s foremost problem was not the weakness of his limbs, but sickness caused by his sins. He was not whole because he could not move about, but because the knowledge of God’s love was absent. The paralytic may have thought himself unworthy to interact with God, again letting his own flawed understanding get in the way of God’s truth. This is as bad as not knowing who God is!
So, how does God move into the lives of the faithless and cold-hearted? Jesus first addresses the deep issue. He surely has pity at the site of a fellow bedridden. But he repairs the paralytic from the inside out, giving him a chance to be clean, free from sin. He forgives the paralytic.
Interestingly, we don’t know exactly what the paralytic wanted for himself. We have an account of his friends doing whatever it took to bring him to Jesus. Jesus “saw” their faith. Faith in action is deeply powerful, and without action confessions of faith are hollow. Faith on behalf of another (the heart of the concept of intercession) is what moved Jesus to heal.
When we as a society or on our own are stricken with false understanding, we may need an intercessor to put us on the right path, driving us all the way back to our Creator. Our problems may be great, but if we are close to God, our challenges are borne with the Holy Spirit. If sin is in the way, we can’t get at God’s best.