Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
He was paralyzed. At the mercy of those who would come when he called. Unable to serve himself. Unable to take care of his basic physical needs. Shame took on a whole new meaning. Things that a 2 year old could do for themselves, he could not. He was different. Life was different for him. He longed to walk like everyone else. And despite all this, he considered himself blessed, because he had friends who cared about him.
The news was spreading like wildfire through the city, that Jesus was back. But what was he going to do? He knew Jesus could heal, but how on earth was he going to get there. Even if he got there, how could he know that Jesus would heal him? Or that the healing he offered would even work? Nothing else had worked.
But this man’s friends cared deeply for him. They were going to get him to Jesus one way or another, even if they had to lower him from the roof. And that’s exactly what they did. Sometimes it takes a willingness to do whatever it takes in order to lead a friend to healing.
With the help of his friends, the man is lowered right in front of Jesus. I wonder what he felt. Was he afraid? Was he embarrassed? How would he even begin to ask Jesus to heal him? He felt so shameful. Would he have to beg?
Before he could even get a word out, Jesus said to him, “My child, your sins are forgiven”. Mark 2:5
What beautiful words. My child, your sins are forgiven.
But the people around him were rather appalled, thinking to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Mark 2:7
And Jesus replies, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Mark 2:8-10
Your sins are forgiven.
The illness of sin is a chronic condition, pervasive, and affecting every member of the human population. It is not an isolated incident, or some type of illness that we can quarantine off. From the day Eve crunched into the first bite of the fleshy apple, the stage was set for drama. Something would have to be done. From this point on, not only would man be destined to suffer physically, but emotionally, and spiritually as well. Paradise lost.
Individuals affected by paralysis of the actual body are few. But paralysis of the soul, an epidemic. Women and men walking around looking as if everything is wonderful, when on the inside their heart is so frozen that it would take a blow dryer straight to the core of the problem to defrost the bitterness.
Jesus knows this. If we were to think that the only thing ailing the man on the mat were his inability to walk, we would be doing him a vast disservice. Because in his heart, he knew he was a sinner. Paralyzed by the bondage of sin ties, just as the rest of us. All too aware that he could never repay Jesus for the healing that was about to pulse through his body, and even more aware that if Jesus saw his heart, he would claim him anything but a man who was worthy of healing.
That is the ultimate question isn’t it? Are any of us worthy of the healing-be it emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual-that Jesus gives? Will there ever come a point in our lives where we can say, okay Jesus, I have done enough things right, now I am worthy of your Holiness to be spread upon my soul.
I don’t know about you, but I am fairly certain that by the time I was a 5 year old, I had done enough things wrong to negate a lifetime of good deed doing. Not that I was a disobedient child, I was really rather easy going. But the point being, we could never earn our salvation. It is impossible. That’s why He died on the cross.
Jesus is the only one who has the power to not only heal our physical bodies, but wipe away the sickness of sin as well. He is the great physician over mind, body, and spirit.
What is it that you doubt about Him?
Are you afraid of healing?
I once read a book title called the courage to heal. The title seemed ridiculous. I wanted to say, “how about those of us who have the courage not to strow our baggage out for everyone to see? Isn’t that courageous?” “How about those of us who have the courage to be strong. How about that?”
I honestly thought it didn’t take a smite of courage to heal. Those who needed healing were weak. It was those of us who kept it all in that were the strong ones. More like the courage to carry the load on your own, that is what it should have been called.
But when the rug was pulled out from under me, I saw the floor of my heart. The reason I held onto my secrets so hard was because I was desperately afraid.
Afraid of giving up control.
As long as my problems were safe inside my head I didn’t have to ask for help from anyone else. I didn’t have to admit that I was “hurt-able”. As far as I was concerned, nothing and no one could hurt me.
There is one gigantic problem that comes along with being impermeable to hurt. You become impermeable to love as well.
Never did I encounter this problem more full frontal then when my children were born. They pulled at the love strings tied snuggly around my heart.
If they were able to unravel one, I would quickly panic and try to tie it back up. “But mommy”, they would pull again. It would unravel a little more.
The more and more they pulled the more and more began to escape from my heart. I could hold love back from anyone but them. I could be fake to anyone but them. They had no idea what they were doing, but God did, and they saved my life.
The courage to heal. Rather the necessity to heal. I couldn’t love my children until I was able to escape the dark depression that had clouded my heart for years. And part of escaping this meant allowing my baggage to fall at the foot of the cross.
I would have to accept healing. I would have to relinquish control. This was not something I could do on my own. I would have to lend my wound to the great physician, and allow him to touch me in ways that I had only feared before.
He would have to see the hurt. He would have to see the broken. He would even have to see the sin. He would have to know that I was not perfect. He already knew that anyways, but I would have to admit it. That I had guarded myself from Him.
Could I trust him?
Can you trust Him?
I honestly believe that trusting Him is one of the most crutial steps we must take before we can begin a life filled with the joy of the spirit. We can trust Him to forgive our sins, and yet never trust Him for anything else. We can trust Him to heal the surface, and yet refuse to let Him touch anything else.
Jesus clearly restored the paralyzed man’s ability to walk, but that’s not all. That’s one of the coolest things about Jesus. He can take what we ask for in our limited human minds, and make it so much more. Jesus wanted to see Him run, to fly even.
He freed his soul to move spiritually. No longer was his spirit in paralysis bound by the ties of sin. He was forgiven. Complete freedom. From complete paralysis, to total, unequivocal body – soul – and mind freedom with the power of 6 words from Jesus.
“My child, your sins are forgiven”.
6 powerful little words.
Did you know that these words are for you too?
Proverbs 5:20 says this, “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.”
Healing to their whole body, and penetration to the hardest of hearts. His words do this. Sharper than any double edged sword. Is there anything of His likeness that we have ever seen or heard? Surely not. There are no words on the lips of humans, or Satan’s tongue himself that can do what God’s word can do.
If you feel led, I would love for you to pray this prayer with me…
You are the lover of our souls. The creator of our very beings. The fiber that binds our flesh together into a soul that breathes life. You are amazing God. We know that there is none like you. There is not another that can heal every single ailment that would bind our hearts, our flesh, our souls, our minds. You father, you are the great physician. I pray in the name of Jesus, that you will forgive me of any sin that continues to bind my heart. Set me free in the name of Jesus. Thank you that you are lover, the keeper of my soul. That you have seen and know every hair on my head, even before I was born. Thank you for loving me exactly the way I am. There is no such thing and fakeness or perfection with you, because you see into my heart of hearts. My soul of souls. Thank you Jesus for making me in your image, so that I can run to you and know you understand, yet also run to you and know that you forgive. Please bind up any part of me that would be afraid to come full frontal to you, because I know that you would never shame me, but only seek to unbind me. Unbind me Lord in the name of Jesus. And leave me unbound in your presence, so that I may experience the great healing that only you can offer.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
He is the ultimate healer.
He is different.