The paralytic had been lowered into Jesus’ presence, and all eyes were on Jesus. Would He choose to heal an obvious sinner? Would He speak a word to rebuke the illness?
How does Jesus go about healing the paralytic? What is the first thing Jesus does for him? Read Mark 2:5-12.
Because we are often unaware of a disease until we notice the symptoms, we often think of the disease as merely the symptoms. We think that getting rid of the symptoms means healing. Jesus approaches disease differently. He knows the root of all suffering and disease and wants to treat this first.
In the case of the paralytic, instead of immediately treating the obvious effects of his disease, Jesus goes straight to the root of what is bothering the man the most. The paralytic feels the weight of his guilt and separation from God more severely than he feels his disease. A person resting in God is able to endure whatever physical suffering may befall him in this sin-sick world. And so, Jesus goes straight to the root and offers forgiveness first.
The religious leaders are shocked when they hear Jesus pronounce forgiveness. In answer to their unspoken accusations, Jesus poses a question.
Read Mark 2.8-9. What challenge is Jesus giving to the scribes there? What issue is He really dealing with?
Talk is generally cheap, but not when God speaks. By God’s powerful word, all things came into being (Genesis 1). Although forgiveness is not something that we can see, it is costly. Forgiveness cost the life of the Son of God on the cross. Everything else is secondary. To demonstrate the power and reality of forgiveness, Jesus then chooses to heal the paralytic.
God wants to cure us on the inside first. And then sometimes He chooses to bring us immediate physical healing, as with the paralytic, or sometimes we will have to wait for resurrection morning to experience physical healing. Either way, our Savior wants us to be able to rest in the assurance of His love and grace and forgiveness even now, even amid our suffering.
|How can we find rest and peace, even when our prayers for healing are not answered, at least now?|