New Testament Journey Day 36: Jesus heals a paralyzed man. Matthew 9:1-8
“Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?” – Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in you hearts? Is it easier to say “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Stand up and walk”? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for sending a man with such great authority.” – Matthew 9:1-8
Among the first words Jesus said to the paralyzed man were “Your sins are forgiven.” Then he healed the man . We must be careful not to concentrate more on God’s power to heal physical sickness than on his power to forgive spiritual sickness in the form of sin. Jesus saw that even more than physical health, this man needed spiritual health. Spiritual health comes only from Jesus’ healing touch.
Being a Christian, and in the ministry, I have witnessed time and again… in desperation of a serious illness or deep hurt we encounter those who reach out and want us to pray with them. When we get done praying they feel a little more peace, and a little more hope because we’ve talked about Jesus and his power to forgive first and foremost, and his power to answer prayers. Then the promises start to come… ” As soon as I’m better, I’ll be in church.” The healing comes, they start to feel better, and as the physical healing starts to manifest, the need for spiritual healing is forgotten. They forget the promise they made God “If you just get me through this… I promise I’ll start serving you.”
Both the man’s body and his spirit were paralyzed – he could not walk, and he did not know Jesus. But the man’s spiritual state was Jesus’ first concern. (It’s STILL his first concern). If God does not heal us or someone we love, we need to remember that physical healing is not Christ’s only concern. We will ALL be completely healed in Christ’s coming kingdom; but FIRST we have to come to know Jesus.
How about you? Do you know him today? If not, today would be a good day to find a quiet place, bow your head and start talking to Him.