Message: When the paralytic man was brought to Jesus the first thing Jesus said was “take courage son, your sins are forgiven.” I can’t help but wonder what the men who carried him to Jesus were thinking. ‘Ummm, that’s really nice Jesus, but this guy is pretty heavy and we were kind of hoping to not have to carry him back home. We wanted a miracle and you forgave his sins?’ We don’t actually know what they were thinking. In fact there is no dialogue reported from the paralytic man or the friends who carried him. We only know what the scribes were thinking because Jesus called them out after “perceiving their thoughts.” So there are three big things at play here. Jesus forgave the man, then he perceived the thoughts of the scribes accusing him of blasphemy and while calling them out on their thoughts he spoke to the paralyzed man and told him to pick up his mat and walk. I feel like a lot of attention has always been placed on the man being told to pick up his mat and walk. But today when I read this I thought a lot about the miracle that nobody was asking for. The man wasn’t asking for his sins to be forgiven, but obviously Jesus knew exactly what he needed to receive the physical healing. This took me right back to some major things in my life that I spent time praying for. Situations where I was literally begging and pleading God for a miracle, but God was healing things from the inside out. It was the miracle I wasn’t asking for that led to the healing I so badly wanted.
Command: Bring the need to Jesus, but understand that he sees things as they are and will work out the problem from the root.
Promise: Jesus not only knows what the need is, but he knows the root of it too.
Warning: I can only see problems at the surface level. If I am so focused on the surface level, I can not only be a hinderance to the healing, but I might become just like the scribes in my thoughts. They operating out of religious mentality calling Jesus a blasphemer for forgiving sin. I might not be accusing Jesus of blasphemy, but I have definitely accused Jesus in my thoughts when I didn’t see the answer come to my distress calls for help. I am certainly capable of doing that again!
Application: I saw myself so clearly in this story as a combination of the scribes in their religious mindsets, and also as the friends (using my own made up speculation of what they may have been thinking.) This reminds me that my own perceptions and expectations of what Jesus should be doing to fix problems is probably wrong! I need to present problems and stop trying to also present my own solutions or “coach” God through the solutions that I think are so obvious. I am so thankful that God has been patient with me and he works at the deeper level to heal and restore. Lord Jesus, help me to not only trust you for the healing, but to step back and allow you to work in my heart at the deeper level so you can heal the things that I am not even aware are broken!